NSAIDs Risky for Hypertensive Patients

Increased risk for high blood pressure patients taking NSAIDs

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) High blood pressure patients with coronary artery disease are already at increased risk of heart attack. It turns out a commonly used, over-the-counter medication may be almost as dangerous.

Hypertensive patients who suffer from coronary artery disease and chronically use nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs to treat pain are at a significantly higher risk of heart attack or death.

"Ask your doctor if taking NSAIDs is right for you."

University of Florida investigators discovered that after an average of 2.7 years, hypertensive patients with coronary artery disease who took NSAIDs long term had a 47 percent increase in death, non-fatal myocardial infarction — a type of heart attack — and non-fatal stroke. The average age was 65.

Taking NSAIDs created an increased risk that was attributed to a 90 percent increase in death by any cause over a 5-year period, a 126 percent increase in cardiovascular deaths and a 65 percent increase in myocardial infarctions.

There was no significant difference for stroke.

Dr. Anthony A. Bavry, assistant professor of the division of cardiovascular medicine at the College of Medicine at the University of Florida, said the connection does not appear to be linked to hypertension because long-term NSAID users had slightly lower blood pressure while being treated.

Dr. Bavry said the study showed harmful outcomes and urged using alternate medication for pain relief for these patients.

The study was published in the July issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

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Review Date: 
July 14, 2011
Last Updated:
July 17, 2011