COMMON painkillers such as ibuprofen [...].
Non-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been found in previous studies to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke if taken regularly.
Now experts writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) say the drugs together with a group of anti-inflammatories known as selective COX-2 inhibitors could increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythm.
The condition - also known as atrial fibrillation can increase the chances of suffering a stroke, heart failure and death.
Danish researchers analysed data from more than 32,000 patients with abnormal heart rhythm who were diagnosed between 1999 and 2008, and compared them with healthy people.
The group was broken down according to whether people used the drugs over the long term or started more recently.
Compared with people who did not take the drugs, recent users were about 40% more likely to suffer irregular heart beat if they were on NSAIDs and 70% more likely if they were on COX-2 inhibitors.
This equates to about four extra cases of atrial fibrillation per year per 1,000 new users of NSAIDs and seven extra cases among new users of COX-2 inhibitors.
The risk appeared highest in older people. Those taking COX-2 inhibitors for rheumatoid arthritis were at particular risk.
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|Publication:||Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)|
|Date:||Jul 11, 2011|
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