Last Updated: 2008-03-12 11:04:53 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Taking nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) does not appear to increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, according to a study by Korean investigators reported in the March issue of Stroke.

Previous studies have shown no association between the use of nonaspirin NSAIDs and hemorrhagic stroke, the authors explain, but they did not include over-the-counter drugs and selective COX-2 inhibitors.

Dr. Byung-Woo Yoon from Seoul National University College of Medicine and colleagues evaluated the association of nonaspirin NSAIDs and hemorrhagic stroke risk using data from 940 hemorrhagic stroke cases and 940 controls.

The team found that exposure to nonaspirin NSAIDs within 14 days before stroke onset was 2.9% in the hemorrhagic stroke cases and 2.0% among controls. After adjustment, there was no significant association between the use of nonaspirin NSAIDs overall, nonselective nonaspirin NSAIDs, or preferential/selective nonaspirin NSAIDs and hemorrhagic stroke.

Use of nonaspirin NSAIDs did not appear to increase the risk of either subarachnoid hemorrhage or intracerebral hemorrhage, the report indicates.

"The absence of an association was evident in all separate analyses with different exposure times and different classes of nonaspirin NSAIDs," Dr. Yoon and colleagues say.

"This study supports the findings of previous epidemiological studies, suggesting that use of nonaspirin NSAIDs is not associated with an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke," they conclude.

Stroke 2008;39:845-849.

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