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Painkillers could increase risk of heart disease

Post by Kelly Swift on 05 July 2011 in Health & Wellbeing

Painkillers could increase risk of heart disease

People who take anti-inflammatory painkillers daily could be putting themselves at an increased risk of heart disease.

Scientists from the Aarhus university hospital in Denmark looked at the habits of more than 30,000 people who took non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers daily and who have atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat).

Studies found that the risk of developing atrial fibrillation increased by up to 70 per cent in those taking regular pain medication for common complaints such as arthritis. An irregular heartbeat can lead to serious conditions such as heart disease, and can increase the risk of having a stroke.

Senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, Natasha Stewart, said: “Those most at risk are the elderly or people with other illnesses, such as chronic kidney disease of rheumatoid arthritis.”

Stewart stressed that any risks were very small but that those with concerns should talk to their GPs.

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