Painkillers could kill heart attack survivors early
London: Popular painkillers such as ibuprofen can elevate chances of an early death among heart attack survivors, suggests a new study.
Some of these drugs, available over the counter, can make the blood clot more easily and trigger heart attacks or strokes. There is the perception among researchers that such drugs should not be made so easily available on prescription.
Researchers from Copenhagen University Hospital, Demark, led by Anne-Marie Schjerning Olsen, drew their conclusions after looking at death rates in more than 100,000 people who had suffered one heart attack, the journal Circulation reported.
Almost half of them or 44 percent were subsequently put on a group of painkillers collectively known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory inhibitor or NSAIDs, according to the Telegraph.
Olsen said: "It is important to get the message out to clinicians taking care of patients with cardiovascular disease that NSAIDs are harmful, even several years after a heart attack."
These all work in a similar way, and include ibuprofen, naproxen and diclofenac. At the end of the first year after a heart attack, those who had received at least one NSAID prescription were 59 percent more likely to have died of any cause, than those who did not take them.
After five years, this mortality difference persisted - in fact the gap had grown to 64 percent. It is likely those prescribed NSAIDs were less healthy than the others, and so more likely to die sooner.
Researchers, adjusting for health differences as well as other factors including age, sex, income, and the year they were hospitalised for their heart attack, concluded that NSAIDs were most probably causing heart attack survivors to die earlier.