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Increased stroke risk linked to antidepressants

Increased stroke risk linked to antidepressants
16th December 2009

Antidepressant use has been linked to a rise in stroke risk, according to new research.

Senior author Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, a principal investigator in the Women's Health Initiative Study, explained that women taking the drugs were 45 per cent more likely to be hit by a stroke, based on a study of 136,293 participants.

Despite this, antidepressants have been identified as a valuable drug in treating another condition which is debilitating, if not fatal, with Dr Wassertheil-Smoller asserting that people must weigh up the benefits of the medication with the small increase in stroke risk.

Similarly, Dr Jordan Smoller of Massachusetts General Hospital, who was also involved in the survey, added that while the study found an association between cardiovascular events and antidepressants, more research must be done to understand what the trend signifies.

The expert added: "Older women taking antidepressants, like everyone else, should also work on modifying their other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as maintaining a healthy weight and controlling cholesterol levels and blood pressure."

Recently, a programme has been operated in Texas to warn children about the risk of stroke, with the goal of reducing the number of people being affected by the condition through early detection of symptoms.

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