Aug 17, 2019 | Updated: 07:24 AM EDT

Painkillers for Osteoarthritis Linked to Cardiovascular Diseases

Aug 10, 2019 08:18 AM EDT

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The pain brought about by osteoarthritis could be very difficult to handle. This is why there are available non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that can help control the pain and inflammation that people suffering from the condition are feeling. However, a new study suggests that these painkillers play a huge role in the increase in cardiovascular disease risk for osteoarthritis patients.


The journal Arthritis & Rheumatology published the study which suggests that people living with osteoarthritis are at a greater risk of cardiovascular diseases as compared to the general population. Still, the study did not specify why there is an increased risk for osteoarthritis patients.


According to Dr. Aslam Anis and his colleagues, who all work for the School Of Population And Public Health (SPPH) from the Center for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHÉOS), Their study has revealed how much the increase in cardiovascular diseases related to osteoarthritis was linked to the use of NSAID alone. Dr. Anis stated that their study is the first study to evaluate the radiating role of NSAID use as related to osteoarthritis and cardiovascular diseases in a large population-based sample.

For the study, the team matched 7,743 osteoarthritis patients with 23,220 non-osteoarthritis controls. They have also referenced previous studies which pertain to developing cardiovascular diseases at 23% higher risk than people without osteoarthritis.

In a statement, Dr. Anis has confirmed through their study that osteoarthritis is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, suggesting that a substantial proportion of this increased risk in osteoarthritis is caused by using NSAIDs. This confirmation came about as their study later revealed that approximately 41% of the increased risk of cardiovascular diseases among people with osteoarthritis could be attributed to the use of NSAIDs. The doctor pointed out that this means that nearly half of the extra cardiovascular disease risk that is seen in patients with osteoarthritis is actually due to the medication needed to treat the disease (osteoarthritis).

The study has also revealed that the risks of congestive heart failure, ischemic heart disease, and stroke are higher among osteoarthritis patients. The importance of the study goes back to the considerable implications on how patients should be treated. Dr. Anis pointed out that their findings are highly relevant as NSAIDs are some of the most commonly used drugs to help patients with the pain that comes with osteoarthritis. This study hopefully prompts the development of new solutions to pain and inflammation.

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