NSAIDs 'pose same MI risk as COX-2 inhibitors'

Traditional NSAIDs pose the same risk of MI as COX-2 inhibitors, according to UK and Italian researchers.

Recent research showed NSAID use among patients older than 60 increased the risk of heart failure by a third.

The meta-analysis of 138 trials, involving over 140,000 patients, showed that taking any COX-2 inhibitor increased the risk of MI from 0.3 per cent a year to 0.6 per cent a year. A similar increase was seen in people taking 800mg ibuprofen three times daily or 75mg diclofenac twice daily.

Incidence of serious vascular events was also similar in COX-2 inhibitors and other NSAIDs at 1 per cent and 0.9 per cent a year. However, the risk of MI associated with high dose naproxen was substantially smaller than that seen with other NSAIDs.

BMJ 2006; 332: 1,302-5

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