Patients who commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs and COX-2) are studied to be more prone to atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is irregular heart rhythm which is often associated as an underlying cause of heart failure, cardiac arrest, stroke and even death. A study conducted was on 32,602 patients with atrial fibrillation. The patients were classified as recent NSAID users and long term users. It was found that those who were recent users or who were on NSAIDs or COX-2 inhibitors with in 60 days were at 40% increased risk of atrial flutter or fibrillation.
The ratio was calculated as almost ever 4 cases of atrial fibrillation per 1000 new users using NSAIDs and 7 cases of atrial fibrillation per 1000 new users on COX-2 inhibitors. The risks increased with age and other important organ diseases involving kidney or conditions like rheumatic arthritis when on COX-2 inhibitors.