Heart Disease Linked to Antidepressants

A new study found that men over 50 who use any antidepressants were more likely to have a narrowing of blood vessels than men who did not use antidepressants. Consequently, narrow blood vessels increase the risk of heart disease.

Previous studies had linked depression to an increased risk of heart disease, but this new study strengthens the argument that medications used to treat depression may be the culprit as opposed to actually being depressed.

Dr. Amit Shah, cardiology fellow at Emory University in Atlanta, who presented the data theorized that antidepressant increase certain chemicals in the brain which may cause blood vessels to constrict. This can lead to a decrease in blood flow to organs as well as high blood pressure which are risk factors for blood vessels to become thicker therefore making them narrower.

Dr. Shah stated “This study reminds us that medicines often have side effects we can’t feel, and we should always take that into account. These drugs provide a lot of benefit, but should be considered on a case-by-case basis.” It should also reminds us that having an annual health screening is essential to maintaining good health.