Low doses of anti-inflammatory steroid can double the risk of heart problems, research shows
- Researchers believe that low doses of steroids can increase the risk of heart problems
- P.Patients who took less than 5 mg of prednisolone per day had almost twice the risk of cardiovascular disease
- It was already known that higher doses of treatment increased the risk of disease
- 2011 data shows that around one percent of Britons use glucocorticoids such as prednisolone
Low steroid doses can be linked to an increased risk of heart problems, new research has shown.
Scientists found that in patients with less than 5 mg prednisolone per day, the absolute risk of cardiovascular disease almost doubled compared to patients without glucocorticoids.
While high doses of steroids are known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, scientists say the effects of smaller amounts are not fully understood.
A new study shows that even low doses of oral glucocorticoid can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Low doses of a steroid can be linked to an increased risk of heart problems that occur with high doses, new research has shown. Pictured: Prednisolone tablets
Glucocorticoids are steroids that are commonly prescribed to treat a number of inflammatory diseases, allergies, and certain types of cancer.
Data from 2011 show that around one percent of Britons use glucocorticoids as part of their treatment.
The researchers analyzed medical records from 87,794 patients diagnosed with six different immune-mediated inflammatory diseases treated at 389 primary care clinics in the UK from 1998 to 2017.
Increased dose-dependent risk ratios were found in all measured cardiovascular diseases, including atrial fibrillation, heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, peripheral arterial disease, cerebrovascular disease and abdominal aortic aneurysm.
The researchers say it was previously believed that long-term use of 5 mg of glucocorticoid was safe.
Scientists found that in patients with less than 5 mg prednisolone per day, the absolute risk of cardiovascular disease almost doubled compared to patients without glucocorticoids
Their results suggest that even patients taking low doses have twice the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD).
According to the researchers, the study shows that patients in need of long-term steroid treatment should be prescribed the lowest effective dose.
The study published in PLOS Medicine by Mar Pujades-Rodriguez of Leeds University and colleagues suggests that patients should have a personalized cardiovascular risk prevention plan that takes into account past and current steroid use.
Although the study was limited by the lack of available hospital data on prescription drug adherence and may have reduced the size of the dose-response estimates, the authors believe that the large sample size contributes to greater generalizability of the results.
They write, "These results underscore the importance of prompt and regular monitoring of cardiovascular risk and the use of primary preventive treatment with all glucocorticoid doses."
Kevin McConway, Professor Emeritus of Applied Statistics at the Open University, said, “It is important to note that these results do not say anything directly about people taking this type of steroid drug for other health conditions, as such people were not included in this one Study.
“They also don't tell us that steroid drugs are taken by other means (such as inhalers) instead of being swallowed.
It is also important to note that even among the patients with the inflammatory diseases they studied, the researchers found that a large number of them did not use the drugs in question.
"Only 16% of them had been prescribed oral glucocorticoids in the year before the researchers started follow-up."
He added, “Some of the increases in risk, even for people taking relatively small doses of these drugs compared to people not taking at all, may sound a bit alarming, but this needs to be put in the context for which the risks are not great are start with.
'The researchers estimated that the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with the diseases in question who did not use these drugs at all was 1.4% per year, which is not particularly high given their average age (they were 58 years old on average when they entered the study). & # 39;
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