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Posted on 01-25-2012

Morning!

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are common in today's consumer shopping cart.  These include aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen, etc.  They are the most commonly used drugs in the United States.

The association between the use of these analgesics, particularly acetaminophen, and the risk of hypertension among men has not been extensively studied.

In this study from the Archives of Internal Medicine in February 2007 the association between analgesic use and risk of incident hypertension was analyzed in a prospective cohort analysis of 16,031 male health professionals without a history of hypertension at baseline. Detailed information about the frequency of use of acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and aspirin was gathered at baseline and updated 2 years later. The relative risk of incident hypertension during 4 years of follow-up was analyzed using multivariable proportional hazards regression.

Results
We identified 1,968 incident cases of hypertension.

After adjusting for multiple potential confounders, men who used acetaminophen 6 to 7 days per week compared with non-users had a relative risk for incident hypertension of 1.34 [34% increased risk].

This same comparison resulted in relative risks of 1.38 [38% increased risk] for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and 1.26 [26% increased risk] for aspirin.

They observed similar results when the number of pills per week was analyzed rather than frequency of use in days per week.

Conclusions
The frequency of non-narcotic analgesic use is independently associated with a moderate increase in the risk of incident hypertension.

THESE AUTHORS ALSO NOTE:

"Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin are the 3 most frequently used drugs in the United States."

These drugs may increase blood pressure. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increase renal sodium reabsorption.

Acetaminophen increases cellular oxidative stress.

Both acetaminophen and NSAIDs impair endothelial function.

Two large, prospective, female cohort studies have documented an association between the frequency of analgesic use and the risk of developing hypertension. [Both done in 2002]

In 2005, a large cohort of male physicians noted a significant association between frequency of acetaminophen use and risk of hypertension.

The authors of this article studied the association between frequency of acetaminophen, NSAID, and aspirin use and the risk of incident hypertension during a 4-year period among 16,031 male health professionals.

RESULTS

These authors "observed a significant independent association between frequency of analgesic use and risk of incident hypertension among all 3 analgesic classes."

Compared with nonuser men, those who took:
Acetaminophen 6 to 7 days per week had an increased risk of hypertension of 34%. NSAIDs 6 to 7 days per week had an increased risk of hypertension of 38%.

Aspirin 6 to 7 days per week had an increased risk of hypertension of 26%.

Men who took 15 or more pills per week compared with men who took 0 had an increased risk of hypertension by 48%.

Men who took 7 to 14 pills per week of acetaminophen had a 52% increased risk of hypertension.

Men who took 7 to 14 pills per week of aspirin had a 32% increased risk of hypertension.

"The frequency of acetaminophen, NSAID, and aspirin use was independently associated with the risk of incident hypertension."

Acetaminophen produced free radicals are "quenched by the consumption of glutathione."

Prior studies have noted that 1000 mg of acetaminophen given 4 times per day vs placebo for 4 weeks led to a statistically significant 4-mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure.

"These data add further support to the hypothesis that non-narcotic analgesics independently elevate the risk of hypertension."

"Given their common consumption and the high prevalence of hypertension, our results may have substantial public health implications, and suggest that these agents be used with greater caution."

Non-narcotic analgesic use contributes to the hypertension disease burden, and this merits further study.

KEY POINTS I WANT YOU TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS:
1) Non-narcotic analgesics are the most commonly used drugs in the USA.

2) "Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin are the 3 most frequently used drugs in the United States."

3) Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin increase blood pressure.

4) Acetaminophen increases kidney cellular oxidative stress. The kidney can be protected from this oxidative stress with glutathione.

5) These authors "observed a significant independent association between frequency of analgesic use and risk of incident hypertension among all 3 analgesic classes."

6) Men who took 15 or more pills per week had a 48% increased risk of hypertension.

7) "The frequency of acetaminophen, NSAID, and aspirin use was independently associated with the risk of incident hypertension."

8) "Given their common consumption and the high prevalence of hypertension, our results may have substantial public health implications, and suggest that these agents be used with greater caution."

9) Non-narcotic analgesic use contributes to the hypertension disease burden.

Keep this in mind next time you reach for a pill!  There are natural alternatives to virtually everything Big Pharma makes! 

Have a blessed day!

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