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COX-2s, NSAIDs and heart failure

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Rate of hospital admission for congestive heart failure was "significantly higher" for users of non-selective NSAIDs and Merck's Vioxx (rofecoxib) but not for Pfizer's Celebrex (celecoxib), Muhammad Mamdani, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario et al. find in a study published in the May 29 issue of The Lancet. Retrospective cohort study reviewed data on 1.3 mil. individuals ages 65 years or older who used either Vioxx, Celebrex or non-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for one year or who were non-NSAID users. The total number of admissions for congestive heart failure in the cohort was 654. The authors note they conducted the study because while COX-2 inhibitors previously have been associated with a lower risk of gastrointestinal events than non-selective NSAIDs, "the cardiovascular safety of [COX-2s] has been challenged"...

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