Preliminary results of an observational study using more than 500 twins has found that middle-aged men taking anti-depressants show five percent more atherosclerosis in the carotid artery than their twin who was not taking mood-altering medication. The results, which have yet to be peer-reviewed, were presented at the American College of Cardiology conference in New Orleans this spring.
Dr. Shah and his colleagues at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia reported that the carotid arteries of the twins taking anti-depressants appeared to have aged the equivalent of four years of atherosclerotic plaque.
The study did not consider the duration of time an individual was on an anti-depressant, but did include his history and level of depression as well as the dosage of medication.
Dr. Shah noted that further research is required to determine causality as well as shed light on the risks and benefits of anti-depressants for middle-aged men.
To read the article, “Mood Boosters Bad for Arteries,” April 11, 2011 go to www.medpagetoday.com.