The use of antidepressants in patients who have suffered a heart attack appears to reduce the risk of recurrent events and cardiac death, according to a large, multi-center study conducted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The findings suggest that post-heart attack patients who suffer from depression should talk with their physicians about taking the medication.
"Our study provides much stronger evidence than weve ever had before that antidepressants are safe and may benefit these patients," said C. Barr Taylor, MD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine and lead author of the paper published in the July issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.
Cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death, major morbidity and disability in the United States, is often linked with depression: according to past studies, 20 percent of patients with coronary heart disease suffer from major depression and 20 percent from minor depression. Studies have also shown that depression among post-heart attack patients is associated with death and recurrent heart attacks.
Michelle Brandt | EurekAlert!
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