Common painkillers now linked to heart problems

A new study suggests a link between painkillers and heart problems, leaving you second guessing that next reach for the ibuprofen to ease your headache.

In the study which was published in the British Medical Journal, researchers set out to determine if Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs known as NSAIDS like Advil and Aleve were as risky for the heart as COX-2 inhibitors were found to be.

While COX 2 inhibitors belong to the NSAIDS class, they are more targeted towards pain and minimize intestinal bleeding risks.

Researchers studied 10 million NSAID users all using 27 different types of NSAIDs. Of the 27 types, 4 included COX 2 inhibitors,

The study revealed the that even NSAIDS that are not COX 2 inhibitors had heart related risks. Both medications effect kidneys and salt metabolism and therefore can contribute to heart related issues to people with or without pre existing heart problems. And both medications had about the same number of heart related hospitalizations.

Researches advise doctors to discuss the risk with patients to increase awareness of NSAIDS and their link to heart problems.

RELATED: Twitter Q&A with Dr. Karen Latimer on heart health

Dr. Karen Latimer Twitter Chat - Heart Health
See Gallery
Dr. Karen Latimer Twitter Chat - Heart Health
Q1: What food improves heart health? @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A1: "An Overall healthy diet, low fat low cholesterol, high fiber, lots of vegetables and foods like garlic and beans" - @DrKarenLatimer
Dr. Karen Latimer speaks with a cardiac expert and women’s heart disease survivor about the little-known lady-killer, heart disease, and what women should be doing to prevent it from happening to them.
Q2: What are the worst foods for your heart? @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A2: "Foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol" - @DrKarenLatimer: #DrKarenOnAOL
Q3: Hi @DrKarenLatimer My father is 76 and now suffers from atrial fibrillation. Is it hereditary #DrKarenOnAOL
A3: It's more common in men than women but women are more likely to die. Though most heart problems tend to be hereditary @DrKarenLatimer
Q4: What is the difference between good and bad cholesterol? @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A4: LDL is bad cholesterol, HDL is the good cholesterol. You want to shoot for lowering LDL and improving HDL @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
Q5: What is something everyone should know about heart health? @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A5: Symptoms of heart disease may not present themselves the way you think they will & it’s the #1 killer in both men and women
Q6: How do I know if I’m at risk of heart disease? @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A6: Everyone can be at risk. Depends on family history or high BMI, overweight, smoker, sedentary, high cholesterol, poor diet, etc.
Q7: How often should you see your heart doctor? @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A7: You should see primary care every year. Only see a heart doctor if your MD recommends @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
Q8: How do the symptoms of heart attack differ between men and women? @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A8: In women, they can be much more subtle and not what you think of as the typical heart attack symptoms @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
Symptoms are fatigue, atypical pain in neck, right arm, dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
Q9: What signs should pregnant woman look out for with heart health? @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A9: Look out for symptoms like swelling, headaches and dizziness & see doctor immediately if symptoms persist @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
Q10: How much exercise do you recommend women to do on a weekly basis?@DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A10: If you can get 30 mins a day every day you’d be in good shape! @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A10: Fun heart tip -- exercise doesn't have to be 30 mins in a row, it can be broken up throughout the day in sudden bursts
Q11: What are the best exercises to promote heart health? @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A11: Aerobics to get heart rate up and yoga for stress reduction @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
Q12: What’s one thing that most women aren’t doing that they should be doing to be as healthy as possible? @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A12: Especially younger to middle aged women aren’t seeing a doctor other than their gyno, and they should @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
Q13: What were your New Year’s Resolutions? @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A13: To be more patient with my children and to start doing yoga again @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
Q14: Why should women especially care about heart disease? @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A14: Women have to advocate for their own heart health since the medical community hasn’t been @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
Q15: How should we change heart health care as we age? @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A15: Heart disease does increase with age and becomes that much more important to pay attention to body and modify risk factors.
Q16: At what age should you start to pay attention? @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A16: Younger than you think. Every adult should know their risk for heart disease no matter how old @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
Q17: Is having a low heart rate at 43 yrs of age .... a concern? @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
A17: Only if you’re symptomatic, incl. light headedness, fatigue, lack of energy @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
Q18: What is the connection between high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart disease? #DrKarenOnAOL @DrKarenLatimer
A18: High pressure that builds up in arteries makes your heart work harder @DrKarenLatimer #DrKarenOnAOL
Thanks for following along with #DrKarenOnAOL! Get more tips from @DrKarenLatimer here:

Read Full Story