In a new study, researchers found a connection between a common arthritis drug and heart valve disease.
The drug is called Celebrex, and its active compound is celecoxib.
The research was conducted by a team from Vanderbilt University.
Heart valve disease is a disease involving one or more of the four valves of the heart.
The disease could occur as people get older, but other diseases or physiologic processes could be risk factors, too.
The disease is a huge burden for public health, affecting more than a quarter of the US adults older than 65.
A previous study has shown that Celebrex was no more damaging than naproxen and ibuprofen.
However, the study only examined cardiovascular death and nonfatal heart attack or stroke.
It did not check heart valve disease.
In the current study, the team tried to see the long-term effect of celecoxib use.
They examined more than 8,600 patient records from Vanderbilt University Medical Center to see whether there was a link between Celebrex use and heart valve disease.
They found patients who had taken Celebrex had a 20% increased prevalence of valve disease.
The researchers suggest that calcification in the heart valve can take many years.
So if people are at a higher risk for heart valve disease, they need to consider taking a different painkiller or rheumatoid arthritis drug.
The authors of the study include W. David Merryman, professor of biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University, and Ph.D. student Megan Bowler.
The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Basic to Translational Science.
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