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Study Examining "Mortality and Myocardial Effects of Antidepressants"

In a research study examining seventeen prior studies, (Marta M. Maslej, Benjamin M. Bolker, Marley J. Russell, Keifer Eaton, Zachary Durisko, Steven D. Hollon, G. Marie Swanson, et al., "The Mortality and Myocardial Effects of Antidepressants are Moderated by Preexisting cardiovascular Disease: A Meta-Analysis," Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 86, no. 5 (2017): 268-282, doi:10.1159/000477940), antidperessants showed increased mortality and new cardiovascular events in the general population. In individuals with cardiovascular disease, there was no significant increase in risk. Most antidepressants affect serotonin transmission, a chemical in the brain which is important in mood regulation. However, serotonin affects other parts of the body as well and may pose risk. In this study, in the general population, risk of death increased by 33% compared to people not taking antidepressants. Antidepressants also have blood thinning effects which may be theraputic in individuals with preexisting heart disease and may explain why there was no increased mortality risk in this population. Furthermore, in some individuals antidepressants save lives, but too often other effective therapies are not available that can treat anxiety and depression, such as cognitive behavior therapy, and antidepressants are sometimes used in individuals with autism, despite poor evidence, to treat conditions such as anxiety and compulsive behaviors, because individuals can not access other safer and effective treatments due to lack of funding.