A study published in the British Medical Journal has uncovered a worrying side-effect stemming from the regular use of ibuprofen – it could increase the risk of heart attack.
The study by a team of European researchers found that regular use of ibuprofen could quickly contribute to the risk of heart attack within the first month of taking a high dose of ibuprofen or other common painkillers, but the risk remained low overall.
The increased risk was considered to have a rapid onset with it occurring within the first week and increasing further from continued, regular use. The researchers found that the risk varied between 24 percent and 58 percent for those taking the drugs when compared to those who weren’t.
The researchers studied 450,000 people, 61,460 of whom had suffered a heart attack before. They examined the effect over time of taking three common NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, ibuprofen, diclofenac, and naproxen, as well as celecoxib and rofecoxib.
Other studies have shown that it is generally accepted that the regular and prolonged use of NSAIDs can cause an increased risk of heart failure, but this is the first to suggest there is an increased risk from even a limited use.
However, the study shows only an associated link between the medication and increased heart attack risk, and relies on anecdotal evidence from its participants to make its findings.
That said, experts noted that a 20-50 percent increased risk for a healthy person is not much cause for concern.
To read the study’s conclusions in full, click here.
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