Common painkillers linked with heart failure in people with type 2 diabetes
A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that the use of common pain medications such as Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen) may increase the risk of heart failure in people with type 2 diabetes. The study found that NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may lead to first-time hospitalisation for heart failure in patients with type 2 diabetes. This is noteworthy, as these individuals are already known to face an elevated risk of heart failure.
The Danish study included more than 330,000 individuals with type 2 diabetes, of whom 1 in 6 filled at least one NSAID prescription within a year. During a follow-up of almost six years, more than 23,000 subjects were hospitalised with heart failure for the first time, and NSAID use was associated with a 40 percent higher relative risk of first-time heart failure hospitalisation. Ibuprofen and diclofenac were found to increase the risk of heart failure hospitalisation, but not celecoxib and naproxen. There was no association of NSAID use and increased risk in people with well-controlled diabetes. Strong associations were found in people aged 65 and older, while no association was found in those younger than 65. The strongest association was found in very infrequent or new users of NSAIDs. The study highlights the need for education in patients with cardiac risk factors, such as diabetes, on the dangers of over-the-counter medications.