Author(s): Hamer M, Batty GD, Marmot MG, SinghManoux A, Kivimki M
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Abstract The use of anti-depressant medication has been linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD). We examined the association between anti-depressant medication use and a marker of low grade systemic inflammation as a potential pathway linking anti-depressant use and CVD in two population based studies. Data were collected in a representative sample of 8131 community dwelling adults (aged 47.4±15.9 years, 46.7\% male) from the Scottish Health Surveys (SHS). The use of anti-depressant medication was coded according to the British National Formulary and blood was drawn for the measurement of C-reactive protein (CRP). In a second study, we attempted to replicate our findings using longitudinal data from the Whitehall II study (n=4584, aged 55.5±5.9 years, mean follow-up 5.5 years). Antidepressants were used in 5.6\% of the SHS sample, with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) being the most common. There was a higher risk of elevated CRP (>3 mg/L) in users of tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) medication (multivariate adjusted odds ratio (OR)=1.52, 95\% CI, 1.07-2.15), but not in SSRI users (multivariate adjusted OR=1.07, 95\% CI, 0.81-1.42). A longitudinal association between any antidepressant use and subsequent CRP was confirmed in the Whitehall cohort. In summary, the use of anti-depressants was associated with elevated levels of systemic inflammation independently from the symptoms of mental illness and cardiovascular co-morbidity. This might be a potential mechanism through which antidepressant medication increases CVD risk. Further data are required to explore the effects of dosage and duration of antidepressant treatment. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Brain Behav Immun
and referenced in Biochemistry & Pharmacology: Open Access