A Danish study has found that the consumption of common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can increase the risk of cardiac arrest. The study is the first ever to specifically observe the impact of NSAIDs on cardiac arrest risk.
The study’s chief researcher, Dr. Gunnar Gislason, said that the findings provided a stark reminder that NSAIDs were far from harmless, adding that people should be aware of the link so that they can balance the benefits of taking NSAIDs against the risks.
Further to their findings, the study’s researchers also made a recommendation – they advised people not to take more than 1,200mg of ibuprofen per day. The US Food and Drug Administration has also previously warned that consumers should always take the lowest NSAID dosage that works for them, and people with heart disease or high blood pressure should always speak with a doctor.
Information from more than 28,000 Danish people who suffered cardiac arrest during the previous 10 years was included in the study. Researchers then observed each individual’s use of NSAIDs in the 30 days prior to them suffering a cardiac arrest. They identified NSAID use by observing whether the patients had redeemed a prescription for diclofenac, naproxen, ibuprofen, rofecoxib, or celecoxib.
Once NSAID use or lack thereof was established, the next step involved calculating whether the patients were taking NSAIDs during the time they had their cardiac arrests.
Some 3,376 patients were treated with NSAIDs in the 30 days prior to their cardiac arrest. From these findings, the researchers deduced that ibuprofen and diclofenac were linked with 31% and 50% increases in cardiac arrest risk respectively. The other drugs that were observed in the study, namely naproxen, celecoxib, and rofecoxib, were not found to have a link to cardiac arrest, however researchers cited the fact that this may have been down to the drugs being prescribed much less frequently.
Another observation the researchers made was that the study did not prove that NSAIDs actually cause cardiac arrest, however a clear link was established between the two. With that being said, the study did take many other variables, such as the presence of chronic diseases, into account. This was achieved because the case period (the 30 days prior to the cardiac arrest occurring) for each patient was compared to another 30-day period in their lives when they were not afflicted by illness.
Content Source: LiveScience
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