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Sodium-Containing Acetaminophen May Raise Risk for CVD

Increase in CVD, one-year mortality risks seen with initiation of sodium-containing acetaminophen for people with, without hypertension

MONDAY, Feb. 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For individuals with or without hypertension, initiation of sodium-containing acetaminophen is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a study published online Feb. 23 in the European Heart Journal.

Chao Zeng, M.D., from Central South University in Changsha, China, and colleagues conducted two cohort studies among individuals with and without hypertension to examine the association between sodium-containing acetaminophen and the risk for cardiovascular outcomes (incident CVD [myocardial infarction, stroke, and heart failure] and all-cause mortality) during one year of follow-up.

The researchers found that among individuals with hypertension, there were 122 CVDs among 4,532 initiators of sodium-containing acetaminophen and 3,051 among 146,866 non-sodium-containing acetaminophen initiators (one-year risk, 5.6 and 4.6 percent, respectively; average weighted hazard ratio, 1.59). Among individuals without hypertension, there were 105 CVDs among 5,351 initiators of sodium-containing acetaminophen and 2,079 among 141,948 initiators of non-sodium-containing acetaminophen (one-year risk, 4.4 and 3.7 percent, respectively; average weighted hazard ratio, 1.45). Similar results were seen for specific CVD outcomes and one-year mortality.

“The weight of the evidence makes ongoing inaction on sodium-containing medications untenable,” write the authors of an accompanying editorial. “The widespread use of effervescent medication in the general population, and the enormous doses of sodium that can be consumed inadvertently by unsuspecting consumers requires urgent action.”

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