Antidepressants up heart disease risks

  • Olivia Fens

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications may increase the risk of heart disease, heart attacks and stroke in women, a new study indicates.

According to researchers, from Uniformed Services University in the US, women with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD) who were taking antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications had an increased risk of cardiovascular events, compared to women not taking these medications.

“It needs to be considered that taking antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications may not be beneficial, and may in fact be harmful for some women,” the researchers said.

The authors of the study, however, said further research was needed to examine whether factors such as underlying depression and anxiety, and not medications per se, may be responsible for these results.

Nevertheless, they added that the findings of the study emphasised the importance of emotional and psychosocial factors in women with suspected coronary artery disease.

The paper was published in the journal Heart.

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