A recent study published in Rheumatology found that using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may reduce the risk of major heart-related events in patients with a severe type of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis (AS). The researchers collected data from a French national database and focused on patients who were diagnosed and treated for AS between 2010 and 2013.
The main goal of the study was to examine the rate of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), which are serious heart issues like strokes or heart attacks. They looked at data from 22,929 patients, who were on average 43 years old. After eight years, 1.81% of the patients experienced a MACE.
Most patients (86%) were treated with NSAIDs, as recommended by French guidelines, while 6% received a different type of medication called antitumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy. The researchers found that patients treated with both NSAIDs and anti-TNF medications had a significantly lower risk of MACE. However, patients treated with another type of medication, called anti-interleukin (IL)-17, did not show a reduced risk of MACE.
There were some limitations to the study, such as a lack of information about the patients’ health status, disease severity, and inflammation levels. Also, the study didn’t consider possible over-the-counter NSAID use.
In summary, the study found that both NSAIDs and anti-TNF medications might have a protective effect on the heart in patients with AS. The researchers concluded that this information is reassuring for the long-term use of NSAIDs in treating AS.
- Impact of NSAIDs on 8-year cumulative incidence of major cardiovascular events in patients with ankylosing spondylitis: a nationwide study. | Rheumatology (Oxford)
- The Heart in Spondylitis | spondylitis.org
- Medications Used to Treat Spondylitis | spondylitis.org
Spondylitis Association of America