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NSAID use and the risk of hospitalization for first myocardial infarction in the general population: a nationwide case–control study from Finland

Arja Helin-Salmivaara, Arja Virtanen, Risto Vesalainen, Juha M. Grönroos, Timo Klaukka, Juhana E. Idänpään-Heikkilä, Risto Huupponen
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehl053 1657-1663 First published online: 26 May 2006


Aims To evaluate the risk of first myocardial infarction (MI) associated with the use of various non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the general population.

Methods and results We conducted a population-based matched case–control study over the years 2000–3 in outpatient residents of Finland. In the nationwide Hospital Discharge Register 33 309 persons with first time MI were identified. A total of 138 949 controls individually matched for age, gender, hospital catchment area, and index day were selected from the Population Register. For combined NSAIDs, the adjusted odds ratio for the risk of first MI with current use was 1.40 (95% CI, 1.33–1.48). The risk was similar for conventional (1.34; 1.26–1.43), semi-selective (etodolac, nabumetone, nimesulide, and meloxicam) (1.50; 1.32–1.71), and cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) selective NSAIDs (rofecoxib, celecoxib, valdecoxib, and etoricoxib) (1.31; 1.13–1.50). Age of current user did not consistently modify the risk. No NSAID was associated with an MI-protective effect. All durations from 1 to 180 days of conventional NSAIDs and from 31 to 90 days duration of COX-2 selective NSAIDs were associated with an elevated risk of MI.

Conclusion Current use of all NSAIDs is associated with a modest risk of first time MI.

  • Risk
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Case–control
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