Opioids Linked to Higher Risk of Irregular Heartbeat

Opioids Linked to Higher Risk of Irregular Heartbeat

Taking opioid medications may increase your risk of developing an irregular heartbeat.

Researchers examined the medical records of more than 857,000 military veterans. The average age of the veterans included in the study was 38 years old. Of those diagnosed with atrial fibrillation – an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke or heart failure – 29% had taken an opioid. And those who had taken an opioid were 34% more likely to have the irregular heartbeat than those who didn’t. After adjusting for other risk factors, researchers said an opioid prescription was associated with a higher likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation.

While the study didn’t examine the biological underpinnings of how opioids can lead to an irregular heartbeat, the researchers say that the drugs can lead to or worsen pre-existing irregular breathing during sleep and sleep apnea, which are risk factors for heart disturbances.

They added that the findings were of particular concern given that the average age in the study was 38 in a group of relatively healthy people. Atrial fibrillation is most common in those 65 and older.

The results have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. The research will be presented November 10 at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.

DISCLAIMER: MedShadow provides information and resources related to medications, their effects, and potential side effects. However, it is important to note that we are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content on our site is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Individuals dealing with medical conditions or symptoms should seek guidance from a licensed healthcare professional, such as a physician or pharmacist, who can provide personalized medical advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented on MedShadow, we cannot guarantee its completeness or suitability for any particular individual's medical needs. Therefore, we strongly encourage users to consult with qualified healthcare professionals regarding any health-related concerns or decisions. By accessing and using MedShadow, you acknowledge and agree that the information provided on the site is not a substitute for professional medical advice and that you should always consult with a qualified healthcare provider for any medical concerns.

Recommend More Articles Like This?

Show Comments (0)
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x