Arthritis Tied to Heart Disease

Pain Relievers May Be to Blame

Osteoarthritis has been linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, and a new study suggests that a large part of the risk comes from the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs). 

In the study, published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, researchers matched 7,743 osteoarthritis patients with 23,229 healthy controls who rarely or never used NSAIDs.

Confirming trends described in previous studies, the researchers found that, compared with healthy people, those with osteoarthritis had a 42% increased risk for congestive heart failure, a 17% increased risk for coronary heart disease, and a 14% increased risk for stroke.

After controlling for socioeconomic status, body mass index, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and other health factors, the researchers calculated that 41% of the increased risk for any cardiovascular event was attributable to the use of NSAIDs.

The researchers acknowledge that the study is observational and does not prove cause and effect.

Source: New York Times, August 7, 2019