Diabetes is a disease that can affect life expectancy patients if left untreated. The excess glucose circulating in the blood ends up damaging blood vessels and noble organs like the heart and kidneys. Doctors then prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs for pain relief.
However, researchers have recently discovered that taking NSAIDs causes heart failure in people with type 2 diabetes. The results of this work were presented at the prestigious congress of the European Society of Cardiology which took place on August 26, 27, 28 and 29 in Barcelona. They also claimed that short-term use of these drugs is directly linked to the first hospitalization for heart failure in people with type 2 diabetes.
As a reminder, heart and kidney failure are serious conditions that lead to many other health complications.
Diabetics take NSAIDs for painkillers
The researchers analyzed the patient medical records who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes between 1998 and 2021. People who already had heart failure or a rheumatological condition that required long-term NSAID treatment were not included in this study.
Dr Anders Holt, from the University Hospital of Copenhagen, Denmark, is one of the authors who presented this work at the 2022 ESC Congress. He stated that approximately one in six patients with type 2 diabetes has requested at least one NSAID prescription during the year to treat neuropathic pain related to diabetes.
Taking anti-inflammatories causes heart failure
The researchers tried to find a link between the short-term use of NSAIDs and the incidence of first hospitalization for heart failure in patients with type 2 diabetes. Data suggest that those who took NSAIDs had an increased risk of developing heart failure.
These Side effects worry scientists and call into question the management of pain in diabetics. However, anti-inflammatory drugs are very often prescribed by doctors or self-medicated. The most popular are aspirin, ibuprofen (often also known as Advil) and the naproxen (also called Aleve or Naprosyn).