(HealthDay News) – People taking sodium-containing formulations of drugs are at higher risk of cardiovascular events, particularly stroke and hypertension, according to a study published online Nov. 26 in BMJ.

Jacob George, MD, from Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, U.K., and colleagues examined the composite risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction, incident non-fatal stroke, or vascular death in 1,292,337 adult patients who were prescribed at least two prescriptions of sodium-containing effervescent, dispersible, and soluble drug formulations or matched standard formulations of the same drug.

During a mean follow-up of 7.23 years, the researchers found that 61,072 patients had an incident cardiovascular event. After adjusting for various factors, the composite risk of incident non-fatal myocardial infarction, incident non-fatal stroke, or vascular death was higher among those taking sodium-containing formulations (odds ratio [OR], 1.16). Sodium-containing formulations were also associated with a higher risk of incident non-fatal stroke (OR, 1.22), all-cause mortality (OR, 1.28), and hypertension (OR, 7.18), but no increased risk of heart failure, incident non-fatal myocardial infarction, or vascular death. The median time from first prescription to first event was 3.92 years.

“Exposure to sodium-containing formulations of effervescent, dispersible, and soluble medicines was associated with significantly increased odds of adverse cardiovascular events compared with standard formulations of those same drugs,” George and colleagues conclude.

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