In a new study, researchers found that common painkiller nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) contribute to heart problems in patients with osteoarthritis.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of British Columbia in Canada.
Previous research has shown NSAIDs can help to control the pain and inflammation in individuals with osteoarthritis.
In the new study, the team examined 7,743 patients with osteoarthritis and 23,229 people without that disease.
They found the risk of developing heart disease among people with osteoarthritis was 23% higher compared with people without the condition.
In addition, the risk of congestive heart failure was 42% higher among people with osteoarthritis compared with people without the condition.
These patients also had a 17% greater risk of ischemic heart disease and a 14% greater risk of stroke.
The team also found about 41% of the increased risk of heart problems among people with osteoarthritis was linked to their NSAID use.
The finding shows that osteoarthritis is a risk factor for heart disease, and it suggests a substantial proportion of the increased risk is due to the use of NSAIDs.
This is very important because NSAIDs are some of the most commonly used drugs to manage pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
The team suggests people with the condition to talk to their care providers and discuss the risks and benefits of NSAIDs.
This is the first longitudinal study to evaluate the role of NSAID use in the link between osteoarthritis and heart disease in a large patient group.
The lead author of the study is Mohammad Atiquzzaman from the University of British Columbia.
The study is published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.
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