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Hypertension. 2004 Aug;44(2):140-5. Epub 2004 Jun 28.

Relationship between COX-2 specific inhibitors and hypertension.

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  • 1Division of Pharmacoepidemiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass 02120, USA.


There is controversy whether cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) specific inhibitors are associated with elevations in blood pressure requiring treatment in typical clinical practice. We examined the risk of new onset hypertension in a retrospective case-control study involving 17 844 subjects aged > or =65 years from 2 US states. Multivariable logistic models were examined to assess the relative risk of new onset hypertension requiring treatment in patients who used celecoxib or rofecoxib compared with patients taking either the other COX-2 specific inhibitor, a nonspecific NSAID, or no NSAID. During the 1999 to 2000 study period, 3915 patients were diagnosed and began treatment for hypertension; 4 controls were selected for every case. In no model was celecoxib significantly associated with the development of hypertension. Rofecoxib users were at a significantly increased relative risk of new onset hypertension compared with patients taking celecoxib (odds ratio [OR] 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2 to 2.1), taking a nonspecific NSAID (OR 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.9), or taking no NSAID (OR 1.6; 95% CI, 1.3 to 2.0). There were no clear dosage or duration effects. In patients with a history of chronic renal disease, liver disease, or congestive heart failure, the relative risk of new onset hypertension was twice as high in those taking rofecoxib compared with celecoxib (OR 2.1; 95% CI, 1.0 to 4.3). In this retrospective case-control study of patients aged > or =65 years, rofecoxib use was associated with an increased relative risk of new onset hypertension; this was not seen in patients taking celecoxib.

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