Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Taking painkillers increases death risk, second heart attacks in survivors

Date:
September 10, 2012
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Heart attack survivors who take common painkillers after a heart attack have a higher long-term risk of dying or having a second heart attack, according to a new study.

Heart attack survivors who take common painkillers after a heart attack have a higher long-term risk of dying or having a second heart attack, according to a new study published in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal.

The painkillers, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), include over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen and naproxen and prescription drugs such as Celebrex (celecoxib), which is used to treat conditions including arthritis.

"It is important to get the message out to clinicians taking care of patients with cardiovascular disease that NSAIDs are harmful, even several years after a heart attack," said Anne-Marie Schjerning Olsen, M.D., the study's lead author and a fellow in the cardiology department at Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte in Denmark.

Schjerning Olsen and her colleagues used national hospital and pharmacy registries in Denmark to identify almost 100,000 people 30 or older who had a first heart attack between 1997 and 2009, and to see if they were prescribed NSAIDs afterwards.

Forty-four percent of the patients filled at least one NSAID prescription. Among those receiving an NSAID, risk of death from any cause was 59 percent higher one year after their heart attack, and 63 percent higher after five years.

Similarly, risk of having another heart attack or dying from coronary artery disease was 30 percent higher one year later and 41 percent higher after five years. The findings considered other illnesses and medication use in the NSAID patients, as well as differences in age, sex, income and year of hospitalization.

"The results support previous findings suggesting that NSAIDs have no apparent safe treatment window among heart attack patients, and show that coronary risk related to using the drugs remains high, regardless of the time that has passed since the heart attack," Schjerning Olsen said.

Normally, patients who have a heart attack face higher risk of death or another heart attack within the first year. But the extra risk is gone within five to 10 years.

Because the new study instead showed a persistently higher risk over at least five years for patients on the drugs, "long-term caution with any use of NSAIDS is advised in all patients after heart attack," Schjerning Olsen said.

A 2007 American Heart Association statement urged doctors to carefully weigh risks versus benefits when considering NSAID use in patients with a history or high risk of cardiovascular disease.

These data showed no difference in risk for men versus women. Because researchers used nationwide data, the findings extend across races, age, income groups and hospitals.

Researchers didn't test the drugs' effects in a controlled clinical trial, so the study didn't definitely show that NSAIDs, rather than other unknown factors, cause additional deaths or heart attacks. But the researchers consider NSAIDs the likely culprit behind the higher risk.

Use of NSAIDS should be limited and their over-the-counter availability should be re-evaluated, Schjerning Olsen said.

"Allowing a drug to be sold without prescription must be perceived by the general public as a strong signal of safety, and may be contrary in this case," she said.

Co-authors are: Emil L. Fosbøl, M.D., Ph.D.; Jesper Lindhardsen, M.D.; Fredrik Folke, M.D., Ph.D.; Mette Charlot, M.D., Ph.D.; Christian Selmer, M.D.; Jonas Bjerring Olesen, M.D.; Morten Lamberts, M.D.; Martin H. Ruwald, M.D.; Lars Køber, M.D., D.M.Sc.; Peter R. Hansen, M.D., Ph.D., D.M.Sc.; Christian Torp Pedersen, M.D., D.M.Sc. and Gunnar H. Gislason, M.D., Ph.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Emil L. Fosbøl et al. Long-term 1 cardiovascular risk of NSAID use according to time passed 2 after first-time myocardial infarction - A Nationwide Cohort Study. Circulation, 2012
  2. Anne-Marie Schjerning Olsen, Emil L. Fosbøl, Jesper Lindhardsen, Fredrik Folke, Mette Charlot, Christian Selmer, Jonas Bjerring Olesen, Morten Lamberts, Martin H. Ruwald, Lars Køber, Peter R. Hansen, Christian Torp-Pedersen, and Gunnar H. Gislason. Long-Term Cardiovascular Risk of NSAID Use According to Time Passed After First-Time Myocardial Infarction: A Nationwide Cohort Study. Circulation, 2012; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.112607

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Taking painkillers increases death risk, second heart attacks in survivors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120910161407.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2012, September 10). Taking painkillers increases death risk, second heart attacks in survivors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120910161407.htm
American Heart Association. "Taking painkillers increases death risk, second heart attacks in survivors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120910161407.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. 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