Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and risk of venous thromboembolism: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2015 Apr;54(4):736-42. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keu408. Epub 2014 Sep 24.


Objective: The aim of this study was to integrate and examine the association between NSAID use and venous thromboembolism (VTE).

Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that reported odds ratios, relative risks, hazard ratios or standardized incidence ratios for VTE among NSAID users compared with non-users. Pooled risk ratios and 95% CIs were calculated using a random effects generic inverse variance model.

Results: Six studies with 21 401 VTE events were identified and included in the data analysis. The pooled risk ratio of VTE in NSAID users was 1.80 (95% CI 1.28, 2.52).

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated a statistically significant increased risk of VTE among NSAID users. This finding has important public health implications given the prevalence of NSAID use in the general population.

Keywords: NSAIDs; epidemiology; meta-analysis; respiratory; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Odds Ratio
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Pulmonary Embolism / chemically induced
  • Pulmonary Embolism / epidemiology*
  • Venous Thromboembolism / chemically induced
  • Venous Thromboembolism / epidemiology*
  • Venous Thrombosis / chemically induced
  • Venous Thrombosis / epidemiology*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal