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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2006 Jun;61(6):730-7.

Increased risk of myocardial infarction as first manifestation of ischaemic heart disease and nonselective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

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  • 1Wolfson Digestive Diseases Centre, Institute of Clinical Research, University Hospital, Nottingham, UK.

Erratum in

  • Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2007 May;63(5):635.



Selective cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitors have recently been implicated as enhancing risk of myocardial infarction (MI). Nonselective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are also effective COX-2 inhibitors, so we investigated the hypothesis that they too increase risk of MI.


We conducted a case-control study with direct structured interview of cases and controls. Cases were all subjects (N = 205) with a first nonfatal MI who had no previously recognized cardiovascular disease. Community controls (N = 258) were randomly selected from the same practice as the index case. Hospital controls (N = 205) were those admitted at the same time as index cases for nonmyocardial conditions not influenced by NSAID use. The effects of aspirin, NSAIDs and previously recognized influences on MI were investigated by unconditional logistic regression analysis.


NSAID use was associated with an increase risk of MI with an odds ratio of 1.77 (1.03, 3.03) vs. community controls and 2.61 (1.38, 4.95) vs. hospital controls. These values were 5.00 (1.18, 21.28) and 7.66 (0.87, 67.48), respectively, in aspirin users. Results were similar when naproxen was grouped with aspirin. Odds ratios for smoking and for use of antidiabetic medication were 3.91 (2.52, 6.04) and 3.92 (1.25, 12,33), respectively, vs. community controls.


Like selective COX-2 inhibitors, non-selective NSAIDs [corrected] are associated with an increased risk of MI. The extent to which this reflects interference with aspirin warrants further investigation.

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