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BACKGROUND: The selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors and other nonselective nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been associated with increased cardiovascular risk, but the risk in patients with established cardiovascular disease is unknown. We analyzed the risk of rehospitalization for acute myocardial infarction (MI) and death related to the use of NSAIDs including selective COX-2 inhibitors in patients with prior MI. METHODS AND RESULTS: All patients with first-time MI between 1995 and 2002 as well as all prescription claims for NSAIDs after discharge were identified from nationwide Danish administrative registers. The risk of death and rehospitalization for MI associated with the use of selective COX-2 inhibitors and nonselective NSAIDs was studied with the use of multivariable proportional hazards models and case-crossover analysis. A total of 58 432 patients were discharged alive and included in the study; 9773 experienced rehospitalization for MI, and 16 573 died. A total of 5.2% of patients received rofecoxib, 4.3% celecoxib, 17.5% ibuprofen, 10.6% diclofenac, and 12.7% other NSAIDs. For any use of rofecoxib, celecoxib, ibuprofen, diclofenac, and other NSAIDs, the hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for death were 2.80 (2.41 to 3.25; for rofecoxib), 2.57 (2.15 to 3.08; for celecoxib), 1.50 (1.36 to 1.67; for ibuprofen), 2.40 (2.09 to 2.80; for diclofenac), and 1.29 (1.16 to 1.43; for other NSAIDS); there were dose-related increases in risk of death for all of the drugs. There were trends for increased risk of rehospitalization for MI associated with the use of both the selective COX-2 inhibitors and the nonselective NSAIDs. CONCLUSIONS: Selective COX-2 inhibitors in all dosages and nonselective NSAIDs in high dosages increase mortality in patients with previous MI and should therefore be used with particular caution in these patients.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





2906 - 2913


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal, Celecoxib, Confidence Intervals, Cross-Over Studies, Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors, Denmark, Diclofenac, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Female, Humans, Ibuprofen, Lactones, Male, Middle Aged, Multivariate Analysis, Myocardial Infarction, Odds Ratio, Patient Readmission, Proportional Hazards Models, Pyrazoles, Recurrence, Registries, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Sulfonamides, Sulfones