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Depression, antidepressant drugs and venous thromboembolism risk (2017-06-18)

Some investigators have reported an excess risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) associated with depression and with use of antidepressant drugs.

To explore the relationships between antidepressants, depression, and VTE researchers linked questionnaire data about depression and regular use of antidepressants with hospital admissions and deaths attributed to VTE in a large UK prospective study, the Million Women Study.

The Million Women Study recruited 1.3 million women through the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme in England and Scotland.

Three years after recruitment, women were sent a second questionnaire that enquired about depression and regular use of medications in the previous 4 weeks.

The present analysis included those who responded and did not have prior VTE, cancer, or recent surgery.
Follow-up for VTE was through linkage to routinely collected National Health Service statistics.

A total of 734 092 women (mean age 59.9 years) were included in the analysis:

6.9% reported use of antidepressants,
2.7% reported use of other psychotropic drugs
1.8% reported being treated for depression or anxiety but not use of psychotropic drugs.

During follow-up for an average of 7.3 years, 3922 women were hospitalized for and/or died from VTE.

Women who reported antidepressant use had a significantly higher risk of VTE than women who reported neither depression nor use of psychotropic drugs.

VTE risk was not significantly increased in women who reported being treated for depression or anxiety but no use of antidepressants or other psychotropic drugs.

Researchers conclude that use of antidepressants is common in UK women and is associated with an increased risk of VTE.

Researchers authors of this study are:
Lianne Parkin, Angela Balkwill, Siān Sweetland, Gillian K. Reeves, Jane Green, Valerie Beral and the Million Women Study Collaborators explored these associations in a large prospective study of UK women.

For more information
Antidepressants, Depression, and Venous Thromboembolism Risk: Large Prospective Study of UK Women
The Journal of the American Heart Association