NSAID’s Link to Heart Attacks

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Many people don’t think twice before taking painkillers to ease everyday aches and pains. But new research adds to mounting evidence that commonly used non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – such as Advil, Motrin, and Aleve- could substantially increase the risk of heart attack. Canadian and Europe researchers’ pooled information from several large studies on data on 446,000 people ages 40 to 79. They found that taking NSAIDs for just one week increased a person’s risk of heart attack by up to 53 percent. The risk depends on the drug, and climbs over time and at higher doses. The study doesn’t prove NSAIDs cause heart attacks, and the absolute risk of suffering a cardiac episode after taking the drugs remains small. But lead author Michele Bally says the finding should encourage patients to discuss their needs with a doctor. “People are often not aware of their own baseline cardiovascular risk,” she tells The New York Times. “You may want to stay with NSAIDs, or you may want to consider other treatments.”

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