AHA: Heart Attack Victims Who Take Common Pain Killers May Increase Chance of Death

According to the Dallas-based American Heart Association, heart attack victims who take common painkillers, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and prescription drugs such as Celebrex, run the risk of suffering a second heart attack, as well as an increased chance of death.

“It is important to get the message out to clinicians taking care of patients with cardiovascular disease that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are harmful, even several years after a heart attack,” said Anne-Marie Schjerning Olsen, M.D. at Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte at Denmark, in a statement.

In the study, Schjerning Olsen and her colleagues found that 44 percent of patients who suffered their first heart attack between 1997 and 2009 and who filled at least one prescription for NSAIDs had their risk of death increase by 59 percent one year after their heart attack, and 63 percent higher after five years.

Differences such as age, other illnesses, sex, income, and year of hospitalization were also considered in the study.