NSAIDs may Contribute to the Development of Heart Failure

Unfortunately, pain is an inevitable part of life. For example, medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, dysmenorrhea, pyrexia, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory arthropathies can cause intense pain. You may also suffer from pain because of common headaches, migraines, or spinal problems among other things. As a matter of fact, it would be an enormously long list if we tried to enumerate all possible cases when a person might feel pain. Be that as it may, in many of these cases, pain management is necessary and as such, people often turn to painkillers to ease their suffering.nsaids

Studies show that the world consumes more than 50 billion pills of aspirin annually, far not the most powerful painkiller in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) rates aspirin as one of the essential medicine in any health care system. Besides aspirin, other types of painkillers include ibuprofen, diclofenac, celecoxib, etoricoxib, mefenamic acid, naproxen, and indomethacin. The common name for these painkillers is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs i.e. NSAIDs.

Now, did you know that NSAIDs could increase your risk of suffering from heart failure?

The problem of heart failure in the US

Heart failure is a serious issue in the world in general and the United States in particular where 5.7 million people have this medical condition. Medical experts attribute 1 in 9 deaths in the US to heart failure, making it one of the leading causes of death in the country. Moreover, it costs the nation $30.7 billion annually in healthcare costs.

Based on these statistics, the US is trying to reduce the number of new cases of heart failure each year, which currently stands at 550,000 new cases. How will the US do that when one of the contributing factors could be painkillers, which are critical to pain management among people who suffer from particular ailments?

The study on the link between NSAIDs and heart failure

The researchers from Milano-Bicocca University in Italy discovered that NSAIDs increased the risk of heart failure by 19%. This study, published in the British Medical Journal, surveyed over 10 million people who had an average age of 77 years. These people came from Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and the UK.

However, other medical experts were quick to point out that since the average age of the participants was 77 years, the results were not applicable to those who belong to younger age groups.

The study does seem to have some basis despite the questions raised on its applicability to a younger demographic. For example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expressed concern that use of NSAIDs could lead to strokes and heart attacks more than a year ago in July, 2015.

Of course, based on just one study, it’s impossible to define with a high degree of certainty how close NSAIDs are linked to heart failure. What is clear for now, however, is that such a link does exist and further research is necessary to clarify it.