Celecoxib Beats Other NSAIDs in Heart Failure Risk

Canadian researchers examine cardiovascular effect of anti-inflammatories

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THURSDAY, May 27, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The cox-2 inhibitor celecoxib, better known as Celebrex, may be less likely to cause congestive heart failure than other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs, a Canadian study of more than 130,000 older adults found.

The study, published in the May 29 issue of The Lancet, notes that NSAIDs are often used by older people to relieve arthritis symptoms but they are associated with an increased risk of heart failure. The cardiovascular effects of cox-2 inhibitors, a newer group of NSAIDs, aren't as well known.

The Canadian researchers assessed the risk of hospital admission for heart failure for: about 14,500 people using the cox-2 inhibitor rofecoxib, better known as Vioxx; about 19,000 using Celebrex; about 5,400 people using non-selective NSAIDs; and a control group of about 100,000 people.

The study found that, compared with people not using any NSAIDs, people on rofecoxib were 80 percent more likely to be admitted to hospital for heart failure and people using non-selective NSAIDs had a 40 percent greater risk.

People using celecoxib had the same rate of hospital admission for heart failure as those who didn't use NSAIDs.

"Our findings suggest significant differences between non-selective NSAIDs and individual cox-2 inhibitors with respect to risk of admission for congestive heart failure," researcher Muhammad Mamdani, of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, said in a prepared statement.

"The clinical relevance of these findings, in view of the widespread use of the drugs, warrants the implementation of large-scale randomized controlled trials to examine this issue further," he added.

More information

The Lupus Foundation of America has more about NSAIDs.

SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, May 27, 2004

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