Research Shows Association Between NSAIDs and Heart Attack
Gainesville, FL — A University of Florida study has found that the regular use of some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and death in postmenopausal women. The study was published this week in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
The researchers found that regular use of the NSAID naproxen, the active ingredient in medications such as Aleve, is associated with a 10 percent increased risk of heart attack, stroke and death in postmenopausal women, said UF cardiologist Anthony Bavry, M.D., the study’s lead author. Regular use was defined as at least twice per week for the previous two weeks.
“That is counter to the medical community’s perception of NSAIDs, in which most people believe naproxen to be safer,” Bavry said. “Our study showed naproxen was not safer — it was actually harmful.”
Bavry, in collaboration with researchers from Harvard and other universities, combed through data from more than 160,000 postmenopausal women who were surveyed as part of the Women’s Health Initiative — a 15-year research study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Of these women, 53,142 regularly used NSAIDs. Even after controlling for obesity, hypertension, diabetes, use of aspirin and other health factors, the researchers found the increased risk for heart attack, stroke or death among the women who used certain types of NSAIDs. Continue>
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