A new study of heart disease patients indicates a link between chronic use of painkillers like ibuprofen and naproxen and deadly heart attacks.
Conducted by the University of Florida in Gainesville, the study looked at 22,576 adults with both coronary artery disease and high blood pressure. Researchers determined that heart disease patients who said they chronically used NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) were 66 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack over three years.
NSAIDs include over-the-counter pain meds like Advil, Motrin, and Aleve, as well as prescription arthritis drugs, known as Cox-2 inhibitors, like Celebrex.
Lead researcher Dr. Anthony A. Bavry told Reuters that the study doesn’t conclusively link these painkillers to increased cardiovascular risk, saying, “A limitation is that we did not have information on rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, which may be the reasons a lot of these patients were taking NSAIDs.”
That’s because–on their own–chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis are proven to create increased risk for heart problems.
Those who suffer coronary artery disease should talk to their doctors about how best to manage pain, says Bavry.
Bavry’s study was published in the American Journal of Medicine.
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