June 29, 2018

Antidepressant Use Associated With Increased Mortality in Patients With COPD

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- June 29, 2018 -- Use of serotonergic antidepressants is associated with a small but significant increase in rates of respiratory-related morbidity and mortality among older adults with COPD, according to a new study published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Researchers conducted a retrospective, population-based study using health data from a cohort based in Ontario, Canada, to evaluate the relationship between new selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or serotonin–noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) drug use and respiratory-related morbidity and mortality in older adults with COPD.

A total of 28,360 new users of serotonergic antidepressants with COPD aged 66 and older were matched 1:1 to controls on 40 relevant covariates to minimise potential confounding.

Analyses showed that compared to nonusers, new SSRI/SNRI users had significantly higher rates of: hospitalisation for COPD or pneumonia; COPD- or pneumonia-related mortality; and all-cause mortality.

The researchers also note that respiratory-specific and all-cause mortality rates were higher among long-term care home residents that recently started using SSRI/SNRI drugs compared with nonuser controls.

The authors conclude that new SSRI/SNRI drug use is associated with small, but significantly, increased rates of respiratory-related morbidity and mortality among older adults with COPD, but state that further research is needed to clarify whether the associations are causal, or instead reflect unresolved confounding.

Reference: DOI: 10.1183/13993003.00475-2018

SOURCE: European Respiratory Society
Log in or register to post comments

DG News saves you time by delivering a short list of medical developments worthy of your time and attention. Our advanced algorithms rank clinical content based on hundreds of data points to surface the most important medical advances impacting your practice each week.