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Pain Killers, Heart Attacks Linked in NSAIDs Study

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By    |   Thursday, 11 May 2017 06:45 AM

Taking NSAID painkillers can increase a user's heart attack risk as early as the first week after starting to take the medication, suggests a new study led by Canadian researchers.

People commonly use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, like Advil, Motrin and Aleve, to reduce pain, stiffness, and inflammation.

Michèle Bally, of the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre, led a team of researchers that analyzed individual, anonymous patient data from 446,763 people in Quebec, Saskatchewan, Finland and England who have taken NSAIDs, reported CBC News.

Researchers examined the painkillers celecoxib, the three main traditional NSAIDs (diclofenac, ibuprofen, and naproxen), and rofecoxib.

NBC News noted that ibuprofen is sold under brand names like Advil or Motrin; and naproxen under the names like Aleve.

The researchers looked at various scenarios corresponding to how people might routinely use these drugs.

"The study found that taking any dose of NSAIDs for one week, one month, or more than a month was associated with an increased risk of heart attack," they said. "Naproxen was associated with the same risk of heart attack as that documented for other NSAIDs. With celecoxib, the risk was lower than for rofecoxib (Vioxx) and was comparable to that of traditional NSAIDs."

"Overall the increase in risk of a heart attack is about 20 to 50 percent if using NSAIDs compared with not using these medications. To put this in perspective, as a result of this increase, the risk of heart attack due to NSAIDs is on average about one percent annually. The type of analysis the researchers used allowed them to conclude with greater than 90 percent probability that all NSAIDs studied are associated with a heightened risk of heart attack."

The study was published Tuesday in The BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal).

"There's a perception that (painkillers) are benign," Bally said, per CBC News. "Please read the label. Be aware and ask your doctor about your cardiovascular baseline risk."

Researchers cautioned, according to CNN, that the findings were observational using available data about certain populations. They said not all potentially influential factors could be taken into account.

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Taking NSAID painkillers can increase a user's heart attack risk as early as the first week after starting to take the medication, suggests a new study led by Canadian researchers.
pain killer, heart attack, link, nsaid
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2017-45-11
Thursday, 11 May 2017 06:45 AM
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