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OBJECTIVE: We aimed to quantify the short-term effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin and paracetamol analgesia dose prescribing on estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) decline in the general practice population. DESIGN: A population-based longitudinal clinical data linkage cohort study. SETTING: Two large general practices in North Staffordshire, UK. PARTICIPANTS: Patients aged 40 years and over with ≥2 eGFR measurements spaced ≥90 days apart between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2010 were selected. EXPOSURE: Using WHO Defined Daily Dose standardised cumulative analgesia prescribing, patients were categorised into non-user, normal and high-dose groups. OUTCOME MEASURE: The primary outcome was defined as a >5 mL/min/1.73 m(2)/year eGFR decrease between the first and last eGFR. Logistic regression analyses were used to estimate risk, adjusting for sociodemographics, comorbidity, baseline chronic kidney disease (CKD) status, renin-angiotensin-system inhibitors and other analgesia prescribing. RESULTS: There were 4145 patients (mean age 66 years, 55% female) with an analgesia prescribing prevalence of 17.2% for NSAIDs, 39% for aspirin and 22% for paracetamol and stage 3-5 CKD prevalence was 16.1% (n=667). Normal or high-dose NSAID and paracetamol prescribing was not significantly associated with eGFR decline. High-dose aspirin prescribing was associated with a reduced risk of eGFR decline in patients with a baseline (first) eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m(2); OR=0.52 (95% CI 0.35 to 0.77). CONCLUSIONS: NSAID, aspirin and paracetamol prescribing over 2 years did not significantly affect eGFR decline with a reduced risk of eGFR decline in high-dose aspirin users with well-preserved renal function. However, the long-term effects of analgesia use on eGFR decline remain to be determined.

Original publication




Journal article


Bmj open

Publication Date





EPIDEMIOLOGY, PRIMARY CARE, Acetaminophen, Adult, Aged, Analgesics, Non-Narcotic, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal, Aspirin, Cohort Studies, Data Collection, Databases, Factual, Female, General Practice, Glomerular Filtration Rate, Humans, Logistic Models, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Renal Insufficiency, Chronic, Risk Factors