Sometimes, the cure is as bad as the disease itself and, according to a new study presented at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) congress of June 2018, this was certainly the case for arthritis.
This is as if you’re suffering arthritis, you’ve definitely taken a specific type of drug. And this drug is now found to have killed millions of arthritis sufferers.
Many previous studies have found that people with osteoarthritis are more likely than the general population to develop cardiovascular disease, but few researchers have examined how much of this risk is due to the osteoarthritis itself, and how much of it can be explained by the drugs to treat it.
One of the most common treatments for osteoarthritis is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, and a team of Canadian researchers wondered whether these drugs contributed to the cardiovascular disease risk of osteoarthritis sufferers.
From the centralized British Columbia health records, they identified 7,743 osteoarthritis sufferers and matched them with 23,229 healthy people from the rest of the population.
Once they ensured that particular factors, like age, gender, socioeconomic status, body mass index, high blood pressure, etc., influenced the results, they found that people with osteoarthritis were 23% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than that if the general population.
They were also 42% more likely to develop congestive heart failure, 17% more likely to have ischemic heart disease, and 14% more likely to have a stroke.
When the team checked which of these people had prescriptions for NSAIDs, and compared these records with the cardiovascular disease records, they found that these drugs were largely responsible for the heart problems.
Approximately 67.5% of the effects of osteoarthritis on the cardiovascular disease risk that were faced could be explained by the use of NSAID.
With NSAID use, osteoarthritis sufferer’s risk for congestive heart failure increased by 44.8%, for ischemic heart diseases it increased by 94.5%, and for strokes, the risk increased by 93.3%.
In other words, your risk of certain heart problems almost doubled if you took NSAIDs to relieve your arthritis pain.
Since heart attacks and strokes are the leading cause of deaths worldwide, it would be safe to say that NSAID has killed millions of people who, if they had not taken these drugs, might not have died.
And this is not the full story, as they only analyzed the records related to prescription NSAIDs.
Yet, there are many popular over-the-counter NSAIDs, like ibuprofen and naproxen, which people with arthritis tend to take.
If these had been included in the study, the result could have been markedly worse.
So, what does a person do if they suffer from arthritis? You can’t take the pain away without using some type of pain killers and now you find out these same pain killers are lethal.