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Rhode Island Hospital researchers find possible cardiovascular risk with NSAID use
Date:9/26/2011

PROVIDENCE, R.I. A new study from Rhode Island Hospital researchers suggests that controlling cholesterol may be important for heart health in patients who are taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen. The findings are based on a study on the safety of NSAID medications in clinically relevant animal models when high cholesterol is a factor. The study is published in the current issue of the journal Surgery.

NSAIDs are among the most widely-used drugs today for the treatment of post-operative pain, inflammatory conditions and fever. Despite that, the factors that affect their cardiovascular safety are not well understood and some studies suggest that there may be an increased incidence of cardiovascular complications such as heart attack or death.

This study, led by principal investigator Frank Sellke, M.D., chief of cardiothoracic surgery and research at Rhode Island Hospital, developed an animal model of hypercholesterolemia in swine to investigate the formation of collateral vessels and other effects in the heart, and the safety of NSAID and other medications.

Through their study, Sellke says, "We found that a high-cholesterol diet reduced blood flow to the heart muscle in our animal models with chronic heart disease when given daily naproxen. We also found reduced levels of prostacyclin, a compound that dilates blood vessels and prevents blood clots. These findings suggest that there may be a stronger risk of negative effects on the heart in patients who have high cholesterol levels and are taking NSAIDs as a form of pain or inflammation relief."

The researchers compared two groups within the animal model, one with a normal diet, and one group that received a diet high in cholesterol, and both groups received daily naproxen. The animals also underwent surgery to simulate coronary artery disease, which affects many human patients who take NSAIDs. Several differences were found bet
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Contact: Nancy Jean
njean@lifespan.org
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert  

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