BackgroundThe association between non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and the incidence of valvular and arterial calcification is not well established despite known associations between these drugs and cardiovascular events.
ObjectiveTo compare the association between the baseline use of aspirin with other NSAID class medications with the incidence and prevalence of aortic valve calcification (AVC) and coronary artery calcification (CAC).
MethodsThe relationship of NSAID use to AVC and CAC detected by computed tomography was assessed in 6814 participants within the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) using regression modeling. Results were adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, study site, anti-hypertensive medication use, education, income, health insurance status, diabetes, smoking, exercise, body mass index, blood pressure, serum lipids, inflammatory markers, fasting glucose, statin medication use, and a simple diet score. Medication use was assessed by medication inventory at baseline which includes the use of non-prescription NSAIDs. MESA collects information on both incident and prevalent calcification. The 4814 participants of the Heinz Nixdorf Recall (HNR) Study, a German prospective cohort study with similar measures of calcification, were included in this analysis to enable replication.
ResultsMean age of the MESA participants was 62 years (51% female). After adjustment for possible confounding factors, a possible association between aspirin use and incident AVC (Relative Risk(RR): 1.60; 95%Confidence Interval (CI): 1.19-2.15) did not replicate in the HNR cohort (RR: 1.06; 95%CI: 0.87-1.28). There was no significant association between aspirin use and incident CAC in the MESA cohort (RR 1.08; 95%CI: 0.91-1.29) or in the HNR cohort (RR 1.24; 95%CI: 0.87-1.77). Non-aspirin NSAID use was not associated with either AVC or CAC in either cohort. There were no associations between regular cardiac dose aspirin and incident calcification in either cohort.
ConclusionBaseline NSAID use, as assessed by medication inventory, appears to have no protective effect regarding the onset of calcification in either coronary arteries or aortic valves.