Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) may be associated with a thirty percent increased risk in older patients of first hospital admission for heart failure, a U.K. study reported in the journal Heart.
NSAIDs are used to treat pain in many types of medical conditions. Several NSAIDs are available without a doctor's prescription ("over the counter" or OTC medications). These include aspirin, low dose (200 mg) ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin,), and low dose naproxen (Aleve). Most claim that NSAIS are safe medications for the vast majority of patients taking them in appropriate doses. Other NSAIDs are only available with a doctor's prescription.
The study of people aged 60 to 84 found that a previous diagnosis of (1)obesity, 2)heart failure (3)cigarette smoking history, and (3)A history of recent in-patient stays and specialist appointments, were tied to an increase in the likelihood of admission to a hospital for heart failure for the first time. The time frame covered was a four year period.
According to the study, of those admitted to any medical facility fourteen percent took one or more NSAIDs upon admission to any facility. This compared with ten percent of a comparison group of randomly selected people. Nearly fifty percent of those who checked in to any hospital were between the ages of 70 to 79.
Of all the NSAIDs, indomethacin (indocin) was associated with an allegedly higher risk. Those who took that drug were three times more likely to be admitted to hospital than people who did not take indomethacin. Osteoarthritis was the most common reason why people took NSAIDs.
Those who wrote the study stated that for every 1,000 people aged 60 to 84 who took any NSAID one extra first hospital admission for heart failure was found.
The study also found that there may be an increase of three additional cases per 1,000 people among patients aged 70 and older with conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney failure.
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