Vanderbilt University researchers have found that prescription opioid painkillers greatly raise the risk of heart death.

They Kill You in Your Sleep

In All Health Watch, Big Pharma, Featured Article, Health Warning, Heart and Cardiovascular, Heart Attacks by INH Research0 Comments

When it comes to opioid painkillers, overdoses get the big headlines. And for good reason.

Prescription pain medications cause nearly 30,000 overdose deaths a year.1 The late rock star Prince was one recent victim.

But it turns out that overdoses may not even be the biggest danger of opioids. A major new study finds the drugs can kill people in their sleep by causing heart problems.2

Dr. Wayne Ray is the lead author of the study. He is a health policy professor at Vanderbilt University. “As bad as people think the problem of opioid use is, it’s probably worse,” he said.

Dr. Ray and his colleagues looked at more than 45,000 pain patients. Those taking opioids had a 65% higher risk of death from heart problems compared to patients who took a different type of painkiller. The study suggests even more people die from other reasons related to the drugs than are killed by overdoses.

The scientists found that much of the death risk came during sleep. The drugs can slow breathing to the point that it causes heart rhythm problems, heart attacks, or sudden death, the study authors said.


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Most doctors use a one-size-fits-all guideline. But depending on your age, gender, where you live, and your ethnicity…the standard heart tests used by doctors can underrate your heart disease risk by as much as 3,000%.

And worse…the more accurate—and useful—heart tests take a back seat. Including one that looks at the place heart disease actually begins (it’s not cholesterol).

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“The large increase in cardiovascular risk is a novel finding,” Dr. Ray said.3

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.4

Opioid Painkillers: Deadly and Ineffective

Aside from being dangerous and highly addictive, other research shows the drugs don’t even work for the very conditions for which they are most often prescribed. This includes chronic back and arthritis pain.5

If you have a car accident or some other major trauma… Or if you’re suffering from end-stage cancer, perhaps opioid painkillers are appropriate.

But 90% of these drugs are prescribed for long-term pain. And there’s no evidence they are effective when taken for months or years.6

We recently told you about safe, natural alternatives that can help you fight every day pain.

But even worse, opioids are far from the only prescription medications that can hurt you. We list others in our special report, The Top 10 Dangerous Pharmaceutical Drugs—And Their Natural Alternatives. It’s an important read for you and your family.

Get all the details here.

In Good Health,

Angela Salerno
Executive Director, INH Health Watch

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References:
1http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/statedeaths.html
2http://bigstory.ap.org/article/34d87f8fb78249faad785dc63383bfd0/opioids-linked-deaths-other-overdoses-study-says
3https://consumer.healthday.com/bone-and-joint-information-4/oxycontin-news-861/opioid-painkillers-raise-heart-risks-for-some-study-711921.html
4http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2528212
5https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2014/10/why-opioids-may-not-be-best-for-chronic-pain/
6http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2015/04/08/the-problem-with-opioids-for-chronic-pain

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