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Common painkiller tied to increased risk of heart problems.

ISLAMABAD -- The commonly used painkiller diclofenac may be linked with an increased risk of heart problems, a large Danish study suggests.

Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that's often used to treat arthritis and other painful joint conditions. In many countries, it is available without a prescription, a private news channel reported.

Researchers found that the rate of first-time cardiovascular events was 20 to 30 per cent higher among people who started taking diclofenac than among people who started taking ibuprofen or naproxen, which are also NSAIDs, or paracetamol (acetaminophen). These events included heart attacks, development of an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation, or death from heart problems.

The rate of new heart problems was 50 per cent higher for diclofenac users than for people who weren't taking any painkillers.

The researchers analysed data from the Danish national patient registry. Altogether, they had information on nearly 1.4 million diclofenac users, 3.9 million ibuprofen users, 292, 000 naproxen users, 765, 00 paracetamol users, and 1.3 million people not on any of these painkillers.

'It is important to note that the absolute risk for the individual patient is low, ' Morten Schmidt, lead author of the study, told Reuters Health in an email.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Sep 24, 2018
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