NSAID usage 'may elevate risk of heart failure'

3 October 2016

People who regularly take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could be at an elevated risk of heart failure, according to a new study.

Led by Italy's University of Milano-Bicocca and published in the British Medical Journal, the research aimed to investigate the cardiovascular safety of NSAIDs and estimate the risk of hospital admission for heart failure with the use of individual NSAIDs.

A total of 92,163 hospital admissions for heart failure were identified and matched with 8.24 million controls, with the results showing that current use of any NSAID was associated with a 19 per cent increase of risk of hospital admission for heart failure compared with past use of the drugs. 

The risk of admission for heart failure increased for diclofenac, ibuprofen, indomethacin, ketorolac, naproxen, nimesulide, piroxicam, etoricoxib and rofecoxib, doubling in the case of diclofenac, etoricoxib, indomethacin, piroxicam and rofecoxib used at very high doses.

The researchers concluded: "Because any potential increased risk could have a considerable impact on public health, the risk effect estimates provided by this study may help inform both clinical practices and regulatory activities."

This could be an important discovery given that drugs like ibuprofen are often commonly used by people with chronic pain problems.

Posted by Philip Briggs


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