Atherosclerosis link to antidepressants

ANTIDEPRESSANTS may contribute to atherosclerosis, a preliminary study suggests.

The study of more than 500 male twins who served in the Vietnam War found that among those pairs where only one brother took antidepressants, carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) was higher.

And a higher level of depressive symptoms was associated with higher IMT only in those taking antidepressants, suggesting the drugs act negatively on blood vessels, researcher Dr Amit Shah, from Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, told a recent American College of Cardiology conference.

Users of antidepressants see an average 40 micron increase in IMT annually, compared to the 10 micron increase associated with age, Dr Shah said, but added depression itself can increase risk of CVD.