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Common Painkillers Raise Heart Death Risk

Ibuprofen Increases Stroke Risk; Diclofenac as Risky as Vioxx, Study Finds

Ibuprofen Heart Risk continued...

Even so, the finding that NSAIDs increase heart risk in relatively healthy people is important, says Howard S. Weintraub, MD, clinical director of the NYU Langone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease.

"This could have far-reaching implications, as many individuals rely on these drugs for pain relief," Weintraub says in a news release. "It is likely that sporadic, non-sustained use of NSAIDs in low doses for pain relief will remain safe, while more chronic use of higher doses may have to be questioned."

What about people already taking NSAIDs for chronic pain?

"For patients regularly taking an NSAID now -- whether it's prescription or OTC -- it is advisable to discuss with your physician why it was originally recommended or prescribed, whether you need to continue taking it, and at what dose," Antman says.

The Fosbol study appears in the June 8 online edition of the AHA journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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