The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) for some patients, according to a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

For this study, researchers from Taiwan aimed to determine the link between NSAID use and the risk of AF particularly in a middle-aged Asian population. They performed a nested case-control study using data from the National Health Insurance Research Data (NHIRD) in Taiwan by extracting cases and matched controls from 2001 to 2013 (N=57,058).

The analysis showed an increased risk of AF for NSAID users vs non-users (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.18, 95% CI: 1.14–1.23). Specifically, the use of non-selective NSAIDs (aOR 1.18, 95% CI: 1.13–1.23) and combined selective and non-selective NSAIDs (aOR 1.30, 95% CI: 1.21–1.39) was associated with a significantly higher risk of AF. 

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“Based on the findings from this study, benefits and risks of NSAID use should be carefully evaluated when delivered in clinical practice,” said senior author Dr. Hui-Ju Tsai.

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