Lege Artis Medicinae

[The cardiovascular risk of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs]

AMBRUS Csaba, KISS István

DECEMBER 18, 2016

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2016;26(11-12)

[Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most common pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications all over the World, and many formulations are also available over-the-counter. Beyond the well-known gastrointestinal risks, emerging evidence supports increased incidence of cardiovascular events associated with the use of NSAIDs. This cardiovascular risk seems to be independent of the cyclooxygenase selectivity of these drugs. Distinct side effect profiles of various NSAIDs were summarized in a former issue of the Journal: LAM 2014;24(7): 327. In this paper, we aimed to summarize some of the yet unpublished results of a major research project of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), that was conducted in order to establish the relative risk of CV outcomes (myocardial infarction, ischaemic stroke and hospitalization for heart failure) associated with the use of various NSAIDs. In this epidemiological study, seven European healthcare databases on a source population of 35 million subjects were linked and analyzed. Most of the results are currently only available on the project homepage; however, analyses of heart failure data have already been published in a recent issue of The BMJ. ]

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[Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most frequently used pharmaceuticals. Nevertheless, a number of studies emphasized that NSAIDs were damaging not only the gastrointestinal (GI), but also the cardiovascular (CV) system, could increase the blood pressure, the frequency of coronary events (angina, myocardial infarction) and stroke incidence, as well as they might deterio­rate renal functions. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) did not find evidence that administering NSAIDs could increase the risk of developing COVID-19 or worsened the condition of COVID-19 patients. However, unwanted effects of specific drugs differ substantially in their occurrence and seriousness as well. It seemed to be for a long time that the NSAIDs provoked higher GI-risk was closely related to the COX1/COX2 selectivity, like the cardiovascular (CV) risk to the COX2/COX1 selectivity, however, the recent data did not prove it clearly. Based on the available literature while pondering the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular adverse events, among all NSAIDs the aceclofenac profile seemed to be the most favourable.]

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[Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an inherited defect of cholesterol metabolism characterized by high plasma total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels and premature cardiovascular disease risk. Prevalence of hypertension in FH is not clarified, but its appearance is independent risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, optimal treatment has a major priority in this high-risk population. We aimed to investigate the lipid parameters and evaluate the presence of hypertension and its treatment characteristics in 86 newly diagnosed, untreated heterozygous FH patients (27 males, 59 females, mean age 53.6±13.4 years). We diagnosed FH by using the Dutch Lipid Clinic Network criteria. The mean TC level was 8.49±1.7 mmol/l, the mean LDL-C level was 6.11±1.5 mmol/l, the mean high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) level was 1.62±0.5 mmol/l, while the median lipoprotein (a) level was 301 mg/l. We diagnosed 33 FH patients (38.4%) with hypertension. Beta blockers were used in 23, ACE-inhibitors in 13, ARBs in 12, calcium channel blockers in 9, and HCT in 11 cases. 11 patients was treated with monotherapy, for 10 patients double, for 11 patients triple, while for 1 patient quadruple combined antihypertensive therapy was administered. Based on our results, hypertension might be underdiagnosed in this specific patient population. Neither the types nor the combination patterns of blood pressure lowering agents are in line with current guidelines. Up to date screening and treatment of hypertension should be worth considering in this extremely high risk population with enhanced atherosclerosis.]

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[The reason of the unfavourable life expectancy of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is not only the development of end-stage renal failure but the frequent appearance of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Chronic kidney damage itself is a cardiovascular risk state and the occurrence of CVD/associated diseases is significantly higher in chronic kidney failure. Beside risk stratification and valid treatment of CVD (hypertension, diabetes mellitus, ischemic heart disease e.g.) we and the international nephrological community have left the cerebrovascular diseases of CKD patients out of consideration. However, up to 50% of patients suffering a stroke will die immediately, only 10% of stroke survivors can continue his/her profession, but the others will be permanently disabled. High blood pressure is a strong predictor of stroke and of other CVD in most of the patients. In stroke risk reduction it is particularly important to reach the target blood pressure values. The main object of the “Live under 140/90 mmHg” programme of the Hungarian Society of Hypertension is to familiarize with target blood pressure itself and how to reach target blood pressure. In 2010, prevention, early diagnosis and management of stroke are the most important challenges of this programme (The Brain Control Programme). We think it is advisable to prepare and publish a clinical practice guideline in collaboration with stroke societies which is similar to the guidelines of international societies and of the Hungarian Society of Stroke but specific for CKD patients. This guideline would help to give a uniform, up-to-date treatment for the cerebrovascular diseases of CKD patients.]