Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

SSRIs for PTSD Bring Cardiometabolic Benefits

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

SSRIs for PTSD Bring Cardiometabolic Benefits

Article excerpt

AT THE ANNUAL SCIENTIFIC SESSIONS OF THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION

LOS ANGELES--The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in treating combat posttraumatic stress disorder in middle-aged veterans was associated with sharply reduced cardiovascular mortality in a large observational study, according to Dr. Naser Ahmadi of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. Treatment with an SSRI also appeared to protect against development of metabolic syndrome in this patient population, he said at the meeting.

Dr. Ahmadi reported on 1,142 veterans with combat-induced PTSD, 433 of whom had received SSRI therapy for the disorder. Fifty-three percent of subjects met criteria for metabolic syndrome.

During a median 5 years of follow-up through the Veterans Affairs system's electronic medical record system, the cardiovascular mortality was 21% in patients with PTSD and metabolic syndrome, compared with 14% in those without metabolic syndrome. Thus, comorbid metabolic syndrome in patients with combat PTSD was tied to a 68% increase in the risk of cardiovascular mortality.

The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 32% among SSRI recipients, versus 45% in those whose PTSD was not treated with SSRIs. …

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