Antidepressants may be increasing the chances of suffering a stroke in post-menopausal women , says a new study.
The data, published in Archives of Internal Medicine, is taken from the Women's Health Initiative Study.
The study examined data from 136,293 study participants, aged 50 to 79, who were not taking antidepressants when they enrolled in the study, and who were followed for an average of six years.
Data from 5,496 women who were taking antidepressants at their first follow-up visit were compared with data from 130,797 not taking antidepressants at follow-up. The researchers compared the two groups with respect to the incidence of fatal or nonfatal stroke, fatal or nonfatal heart attack and death due to all causes.
The researchers found no difference in coronary heart disease (defined as fatal and non-fatal heart attacks). However, they did observe a significant difference in stroke rates: antidepressant users were 45 percent more likely to experience strokes than women who weren't taking antidepressants.
The study also found that when overall death rates (all-cause mortality) were compared between the two groups, those on antidepressants had a 32 percent higher risk of death from all causes compared with non-users.