If you use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, you must read this newsletter today.
NSAIDs and heart failure have a connection you need to know about.
These NSAID’s are extremely popular as pain relievers.
But if you use them much, you may be at least TWICE as likely to suffer a heart attack.
The first study is out of Denmark.
In Denmark, they don’t have a free market healthcare system as such.
So doctors may only prescribe drugs that are on a preapproved list.
If it’s not on the list, doctor’s cannot prescribe it.
As a result, they have only studied ibuprofen and heart attack intensively here.
And the study shows that if you take ibuprofen a lot, you are much more likely to have a heart attack.
Actually, the study only covered people hospitalized for heart attack and who had taken ibuprofen anytime 30 days prior.
They found that people who consumed ibuprofen within 30 days were much more likely to have a heart attack.
Short-term use of ibuprofen was associated with an increased risk of cardiac arrest.
We can’t conclude anything about any of the other NSAID’s from this study.
And they don’t prescribe aspirin there apparently.
So this study only applies to ibuprofen.
But this next study is even more interesting as its one of the few meta-studies that I think is truly valid.
And it applies to ALL of the NSAIDs EXCEPT for aspirin.
What makes this study very important is that it applies to men who do not have pre-existing vascular problems.
In other words, even if you are relatively healthy in the cardiovascular area, this study applies to you.
And you may still be twice as likely to have a heart attack following short-term use of these NSAID’s.
And it applies to all NSAID’s other than aspirin.
They found that these painkiller medications roughly doubled the risk of heart failure — ALL NSAIDs!
All NSAID regimens increased upper gastrointestinal complications.
Coxibs (Celebrex) 1·81 (almost twice as likely to get a heart attack
Diclofenac 1.89 more likely to get a heart attack
Ibuprofen 3.97 more likely
Naproxen 4.22 more likely
You can see that the odds really shoot up if you use these NSAIDs at all.
And remember, these are for men who are NOT “heart patients.”
These are RELATIVE odds, so if you had a 1% chance of a heart attack, you would have a 4% chance if you take naproxen.
Relative risk is not the same as absolute risk, and you should keep that in mind.
Although, it’s hard to ignore these very large increases in relative risk!
For these reasons, I would urge you to stop taking them and to use aspirin.
These findings do NOT implicate aspirin – and only aspirin.
And we know that aspirin REDUCES heart attack risk.
Always talk to your doctor first about any change in medications.
Aspirin and NSAIDs all carry risks.
But the risks of a heart attack from these non-aspirin NSAIDs is too great to be ignored.
Vascular and upper gastrointestinal effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Meta-analyses of individual participant data from randomized trials