Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Common painkillers linked to irregular heart rhythm

Date:
July 11, 2011
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Commonly used painkillers to treat inflammation are linked to an increased risk of irregular heart rhythm (known as atrial fibrillation or flutter), concludes a new study.

Commonly used painkillers to treat inflammation are linked to an increased risk of irregular heart rhythm (known as atrial fibrillation or flutter), concludes a new study.

The drugs include non-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) as well as new generation anti-inflammatory drugs, known as selective COX-2 inhibitors.

These drugs have already been linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, but no study has examined whether they increase the risk of atrial fibrillation -- a condition which is associated with an increased long term risk of stroke, heart failure, and death.

So a team of researchers, led by Professor Henrik Toft Sψrensen at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, used the Danish National Registry of Patients to identify 32,602 patients with a first diagnosis of atrial fibrillation or flutter between 1999 and 2008. Each case was compared with 10 age and sex-matched control patients randomly selected from the Danish population.

Patients were classified as current or recent NSAID users. Current users were further classified as new users (first ever prescription within 60 days of diagnosis date) or long-term users.

The researchers found that use of NSAIDs or COX-2 inhibitors was associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation or flutter.

Compared with non users, the association was strongest for new users, with around 40% increased risk for non-selective NSAIDS and around 70% increased risk for COX-2 inhibitors. This is equivalent to approximately four extra cases of atrial fibrillation per year per 1000 new users of non-selective NSAIDS and seven extra cases of atrial fibrillation per 1000 new users of COX-2 inhibitors.

The risk appeared highest in older people, and patients with chronic kidney disease or rheumatoid arthritis were at particular risk when starting treatment with COX-2 inhibitors.

The authors conclude: "Our study thus adds evidence that atrial fibrillation or flutter need to be added to the cardiovascular risks under consideration when prescribing NSAIDs."

This view is supported by an accompanying editorial by Professor Jerry Gurwitz from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the US. He believes that NSAIDS should continue to be used very cautiously in older patients with a history of hypertension or heart failure …. regardless of whether an association between NSAIDs and atrial fibrillation actually exists.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Schmidt, C. F. Christiansen, F. Mehnert, K. J. Rothman, H. T. Sorensen. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use and risk of atrial fibrillation or flutter: population based case-control study. BMJ, 2011; 343 (jul04 1): d3450 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d3450

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Common painkillers linked to irregular heart rhythm." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705071747.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2011, July 11). Common painkillers linked to irregular heart rhythm. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705071747.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Common painkillers linked to irregular heart rhythm." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705071747.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) — Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins