Use of some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is associated with increased cardiovascular risk in several patient groups, but whether this excess risk exists in apparently healthy individuals has not been clarified. Using a historical cohort design, we estimated the risk of death and myocardial infarction associated with the use of NSAIDs. Participants in the study were selected from the Danish population and were defined as healthy according to a history of no hospital admissions and no concomitant selected pharmacotherapy. The source population consisted of 4,614,807 individuals, of whom 1,028,437 were included in the study after applying selection criteria. Compared to no NSAID use, hazard ratios (95% confidence limits) for death/myocardial infarction were 1.01 (0.96-1.07) for ibuprofen, 1.63 (1.52-1.76) for diclofenac, 0.97 (0.83-1.12) for naproxen, 2.13 (1.89-2.41) for rofecoxib, and 2.01 (1.78-2.27) for celecoxib. A dose-dependent increase in cardiovascular risk was seen for selective COX-2 inhibitors and diclofenac. Caution should be exercised in NSAID use in all individuals, and particularly high doses should be avoided if possible.
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