Short-Term NSAID Use Does Not Raise Myocardial Risk

Drugs in same family as ibuprofen safe to take for up to a year

MONDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Taking traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) does not significantly increase the risk of myocardial infarction (MI) when taken within the specified dose for up to one year, according to a study published online Nov. 28 in BMC Medicine. After one year there is a slightly increased risk of non-fatal MI but not for the two most widely used traditional NSAIDs, ibuprofen and naproxen, the study found.

Luis A. Garcia Rodriguez, M.D., and Antonio Gonzalez-Perez, from the Centro Espanol de Investigacion Farmacoepidemiologica in Madrid, Spain, analyzed 4,975 cases of acute MI and 20,000 controls to establish whether or not there was a link between MI and chronic use of traditional NSAIDs.

While the relative risk of MI with chronic use of NSAIDs for less than one year was only 1.07, the risk rose to 1.21 for use over one year, and was 1.34 for non-fatal MI. The effect was seen regardless of dose. The relative risk of long-term NSAID use varied widely, from 0.87 for naproxen to 1.38 for diclofenac.

"This study adds support to the hypothesis that chronic treatment with some [traditional] NSAIDs is associated with a small increased risk of non-fatal MI. Our data are consistent with a substantial variability in cardiovascular risks between individual [traditional] NSAIDs," the authors conclude.

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