Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help to control the pain and inflammation in patients with osteoarthritis (OA), but the drugs may contribute to cardiovascular side effects in these individuals, according to a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.
The study matched 7,743 patients with OA with 23,229 controls without OA. The risk of developing cardiovascular disease among people with OA was 23% higher compared with those without OA. Among secondary outcomes assessed in the study, the risk of congestive heart failure was 42% higher among people with OA compared with those without OA, followed by a 17% greater risk of ischaemic heart disease and a 14% greater risk of stroke.
Approximately 41% of the increased risk of cardiovascular disease among people with OA was mediated through their NSAID use. Among the secondary outcomes, the proportion mediated through NSAID was 23%, 56% and 64% for congestive heart failure, ischaemic heart disease and stroke, respectively.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study to evaluate the mediating role of NSAID use in the relationship between osteoarthritis and cardiovascular disease in a large population based sample,” said senior study author Aslam Anis, PhD, the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia.
“Our results indicate that osteoarthritis is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and suggest a substantial proportion of the increased risk is due to the use of NSAIDs. This is highly relevant because NSAIDs are some of the most commonly used drugs to manage pain in patients with osteoarthritis,” Dr. Anis said.