NSAIDs and Heart Risk

A study recently came out that I believe is important to share with anyone who may be reading. It deals with NSAID (non steroidal anti-inflammatory) treatment in people that have had a  heart attack (MI). The study can be accessed at the following link:


It was a study done in Denmark that looked at patients who had MI’s and then used NSAIDS later on. They looked at things like Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Diclofenac as well as others such as Celecoxib (Celebrex) which is supposed to be friendlier to the heart than others. They looked at patients for up to 5 years after the initial or first MI. Here is what they found:

People who took any NSAID had a hazard ratio of 1.59 for death at 1 year. That means that people who took any NSAID after 1 year had 1.59 times the death rate than people who didn’t take any NSAID after an MI. After 5 years that ratio was 1.63, meaning 1.63 times the death rate of people who had none.

Diclofenac seemed to be the biggest offender with a hazard ratio of 2.36 after only 1 year and 2.07 after 5 years. Celebrex was 1.83 and 1.68 at 1 and 5 years respectively. Ibuprofen was 1.42 and 1.55 at years 1 and 5 respectively.

Naproxen seemed to be the least harmful at 1.7 at year 1 but 1.02 at year 5, and that was non-significant, meaning the difference between those with prior MI who weren’t taking naproxen had no different risk than those who were, at least for death.

Risk of coronary death or a subsequent MI was very similar to the mortality data with naproxen being the only drug with no significant difference after 2 years. Although the risk did appear to be reduced for some drugs

What does this all mean? The best thing I can say is that one should avoid NSAIDs if they have had an MI. Even short durations of treatment appear to be problematic as noted in the following study by the same authors as above.


 It’s just not worth the risk of another MI or death in my opinion. All of this of course should be discussed with a competent medical professional. There are some cases where NSAID use might be the best course for another disease state but again, that should be discussed with a medical professional. I cannot emphasize enough the safe use of medication and right now it doesn’t look like NSAIDs are safe with previous MI even after 5 years. Take care when going to the supermarket or pharmacy and you feel some pain from that morning lifting session or jogging in the afternoon. Ice and heat is probably the better choice.


The Brute

Disclaimer: All info on this website is for education purposes only. Any dietary or lifestyle changes that readers want to make should be done with the guidance of a competent medical practitioner. The author assumes no responsibility nor liability  for the use or dissemination of this information. Anyone who chooses to apply this information for their own personal use does so at their own risk.


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