Aims: It remains inconclusive whether the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increases the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF), especially in middle-aged Asian populations. In this study, we evaluated the association between NSAID use and the risk of AF in a nationwide population-based study of middle-aged individuals in Taiwan. Methods: A nested case-control study was conducted using the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) in Taiwan. We identified the cases with a diagnosis of AF (ICD-9-CM codes: 427.31) and the matched controls from three independent Longitudinal Health Insurance Databases (LHIDs) derived from the NHIRD from data collected from 2001 to 2013. Conditional logistic regression models with covariate adjustment were performed to evaluate the association between NSAID use and the risk of AF. Results: A total of 57058 participants (28529 AF cases and 28529 matched controls) were included. Participants with NSAID use had an elevated risk of AF compared to non-users [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.18, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.14-1.23]. When further assessing the effects of different classes of NSAIDs on the risk of AF, the results showed that participants who used non-selective NSAIDs had a significantly elevated risk of AF (AOR = 1.18, 95% CI: 1.13-1.23), as did participants with a combined use of selective and non-selective NSAIDs (AOR = 1.30, 95% CI: 1.21-1.39). Conclusions: NSAID use was associated with an increased risk of AF occurrence among the participants included in our study cohort. Closely monitoring the adverse effects of NSAID treatment on the risk of AF will be important, particularly among individuals at high risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1290-1300
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Middle-aged population
  • Nationwide population-based study
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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