From the May 22, 2006, Reuters Health comes a report associated with a study from Spain that suggests that common pain killers in the category of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory prescription drugs (NSAIDs), carry an increased risk of a first hospitalization for heart failure. Medications in the category include include over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
In this research Dr. Consuelo Huerta compared a group of men and women ages 60 to 84 who were hospitalized for heart failure to a control group. Of those hospitalized for heart failure, fourteen percent of the heart failure patients were current NSAID users compared with only 10 percent of those not using the drugs. Scientists came to the conclusion that after ruling out heart failure risk factors, this represented a 30 percent increased chance of a first hospitalization for heart failure when you use these types of drugs.
Research workers termed this as a "considerable public health impact." Oddly, according to the study, the dosage and duration of use of the medications had no apparent effects on the rate of increased risk. The article notes that a history of heart problems greatly increased the risk factors of a first hospitalization due these drugs.
Investigators did mention that their findings corroborated others that indicated that NSAIDs exacerbate heart failure symptoms. However, they notice that this new study adds the finding that NSAIDs increase the risk of hospitalization for heart failure in individuals who do not have a history of heart failure.