Send to

Choose Destination
Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2008 Aug;17(8):822-33. doi: 10.1002/pds.1592.

The pattern of use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) from 1997 to 2005: a nationwide study on 4.6 million people.

Author information

Department of Cardiology, Gentofte University Hospital, Hellerup, Denmark.



To describe the nationwide pattern of use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the Danish population.


All Danish citizens aged 10 or above 1 January 1997 were included in the study. The national prescription registry was used to identify all claimed prescriptions for NSAIDs by the cohort until 2005. By individual-level-linkage of nationwide registries, information was acquired concerning hospitalizations, comorbidity, concomitant pharmacotherapy and socioeconomic factors.


The population consisted of 4,614,807 individuals, of which 2,663,706 (57.8%) claimed at least one prescription for NSAID from 1997 to 2005. Ibuprofen and diclofenac were the most frequently used non-selective NSAIDs, whereas rofecoxib and celecoxib were the most frequently used selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors. The usage was similar across all age groups. Female sex and increasing age was associated with increased use of NSAID. Factors predicting extensive NSAID use were: rheumatic disease (odds ratio (OR) = 1.79, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.69-1.90), gout agents (allopurinol) (OR = 2.54, CI: 2.44-2.64) and other pain medication (OR = 3.27, CI: 3.23-3.31). NSAIDs were most often prescribed for use for one distinct treatment interval and for a short period (overall inter-quartile range [IQR]: 9-66 days). High doses were used in a relatively large proportion of the population (8.9% for etodolac to 19.5% for celecoxib) and 54,373 (2.0%) claimed prescriptions for more than one NSAID at the same time.


NSAIDs were commonly used in the Danish population. Since NSAIDs have been associated with increased cardiovascular risk, further research on the overall risk associated with these drugs on a national scale is needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center