Science In Brief

Chiropractic Literature Review


Use of prescription NSAIDS has been linked to increased incidence of atrial fibrillation (AFIB). The study from the April British Medical Journal followed 8423 elderly patients and compared the incidence of AFIB (as confirmed by ECG) with known use of prescription NSAIDS (as documented by prescription records). Additionally, there appeared to be some evidence of increased risk being associated with higher doses although the authors do point out the effect didn't reach statistical significance in this study. The mean age was 68.5 yrs and participants were followed for a mean period of 12.9 years. During the study, 857 individuals developed AFIB. Current and recent NSAID use (out to 30 days) were both associated with significantly increased risk as compared to participants who never used NSAIDS. The statistical analysis used accounted for age, sex, and other potential confounding factors.

This study appears to support a relationship between NSAID use and increased risk of AFIB as had been found in previous studies.

Reference: Krijthe BP1, Heeringa J, Hofman A, Franco OH, Stricker BH.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the risk of atrial fibrillation: a population-based follow-up study. BMJ Open. 2014 Apr 8;4(4):e004059.

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