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The cox-2 inhibitors that remain on the market are likely to be associated with significantly fewer cardiovascular events than the now withdrawn rofecoxib, according to a new study.

Researchers found cox-2s as a class had a greater effect on blood pressure than conventional NSAIDs, but that most of the effect was accounted for by rofecoxib.

The risk of systolic hypertension was 81 per cent greater with rofecoxib than celecoxib, according to the study, which analysed data from 12 trials involving 23,231 patients. The risk of diastolic hypertension also appeared to be greater.

Lead researcher Dr Steve Haas, honorary research fellow at Australia's Monash University, told Pulse: 'It appears that rofecoxib is the most contributory cox-2 to the development of hypertension'.

But Dr Haas, who presented the data at the American Heart Association conference in New Orleans, said a 'class effect' had not been ruled out and that further research was needed.

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