A recent study published in American Heart Association journal Circulation suggests that NSAIDs after myocardial infarction should be reconsidered as they may increase patients’ risk of second heart attack.
Previous researches have linked these pain killers to a higher risk of a second heart attack, but the current study suggests the risk may persist for at least five years.
Researchers from Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte in Denmark identified nearly 100,000 heart attack survivors aged 30 or older who suffered their first heart attack between 1997 and 2009, and looked into whether or not they were prescribed NSAIDs afterward. Among the participants, 44% filled at least one NSAID prescription.
Those taking NSAIDs had a 59% higher risk of death from any cause one year after their heart attack and a 63% higher risk within five years afterward. Additionally, participants had a higher risk (30%) of having a second heart attack, or dying of related heart disease, one year later. That risk was 41% higher after five years.
“The results support previous findings suggesting that NSAIDs have no apparent safe treatment window among heart attack patients, and show that coronary risk related to using the drugs remains high, regardless of the time that has passed since the heart attack,” said study author Dr. Anne-Marie Schjerning Olsen in a press release.
Although the new study was observational and doesn’t prove that NSAID use causes second heart attacks or death, patients are usually prescribed aspirin after a heart attack which is also an NSAID, but the authors concluded that aspirin is good for the heart and that the new findings don’t apply to that drug.