Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Painkillers linked to heightened irregular heartbeat risk in older adults

Date:
April 8, 2014
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Current and recent use of painkillers/anti-inflammatories may be linked to a heightened risk of an irregular heartbeat -- atrial fibrillation -- among older adults, finds a large population study. Atrial fibrillation has itself been linked to stroke, heart failure, and reduced life expectancy, while previously published research has linked the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, to a heightened risk of cardiovascular problems, including heart attack.

Current and recent use of painkillers/anti-inflammatories may be linked to a heightened risk of an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) among older adults, finds a large population study published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Related Articles


Atrial fibrillation has itself been linked to stroke, heart failure, and reduced life expectancy, while previously published research has linked the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, to a heightened risk of cardiovascular problems, including heart attack.

The research team regularly monitored the heart health of 8423 people taking part in the Rotterdam Study, a population based study that has been tracking the development of ill health and associated risk factors among adults aged 55 and older since 1990 in one district of Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

New and current cases of atrial fibrillation were diagnosed using heart tracer recordings (ECGs) while details of drugs prescribed to study participants was gathered from pharmacies collaborating on the research project.

The average of the study participants was 68.5, and over half of them (58%) were women.

During the average monitoring period, which spanned just under 13 years, 857 of the 8423 participants developed atrial fibrillation, 261 of whom had never used NSAIDs when they were diagnosed, while 554 had used NSAIDs in the past, and 42 were currently taking these drugs.

Current use was associated with a 76% greater risk of atrial fibrillation than never use, after taking account of other risk factors, such as age, sex, and underlying cardiovascular problems.

Similarly, recent use (with the preceding 30 days) of these drugs was linked to an 84% greater risk of atrial fibrillation. While there was a trend for higher doses to be linked to a correspondingly higher risk, this trend was not statistically significant.

NSAIDs may contribute to atrial fibrillation because they inhibit the production of the enzyme cyclo-oxygenase, which may increase blood pressure as a result of fluid retention, suggest the authors.

Alternatively, use of NSAIDs may indicate underlying inflammation, which may increase the risk of atrial fibrillation, they say.

But whatever the explanation, "the underlying mechanism behind this association [between NSAIDs and atrial fibrillation] deserves further attention," they conclude.


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. B. P. Krijthe, J. Heeringa, A. Hofman, O. H. Franco, B. H. Stricker. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the risk of atrial fibrillation: a population-based follow-up study. BMJ Open, 2014; 4 (4): e004059 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004059

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Painkillers linked to heightened irregular heartbeat risk in older adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140408213543.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2014, April 8). Painkillers linked to heightened irregular heartbeat risk in older adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140408213543.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Painkillers linked to heightened irregular heartbeat risk in older adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140408213543.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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