Nov. 30, 2010 -- Tricyclic antidepressants have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease in a new study of nearly 15,000 people in Scotland.
Researchers from University College London found that tricyclic antidepressants, an older class of antidepressant, were associated with a 35% increased risk of CVD (cardiovascular disease), but that there was no increased risk with newer antidepressants such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
Until now, the researchers say, there have been uncertain and conflicting findings about the risks.
14,784 men and women without a known history of CVD were studied using data from the Scottish Health Survey.
The researchers combined data from separate surveys in 1995, 1998, and 2003 in adults over 35 and linked them with records on hospital admissions and deaths, with follow-up until 2007.
Anyone with a history of clinically confirmed CVD was excluded.
During the surveys, interviewers visited the homes of participants and asked questions about their lifestyle, such as smoking, alcohol intake, and exercise. Height and weight were recorded and psychological distress was checked using a questionnaire.