Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) was associated with an 18% increased risk of atrial fibrillation—an irregular, often rapid heart rate—in a study of middle-aged adults in Taiwan. The findings are published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
Atrial fibrillation affects approximately 0.5% of the general population, but more than 6% of the elderly population. The new findings point to the importance of closely monitoring the adverse effects of NSAIDs on heart health, particularly among individuals at high risk.
“Based on the findings from this study, benefits and risks of NSAID use should be carefully evaluated when delivered in clinical practice,” said senior author Dr. Hui-Ju Tsai, of the National Health Research Institutes, in Taiwan.