ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
CANCER
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
CAREGIVING
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
With Alzheimer's, Health-Care Costs Could Triple
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
DIET, NUTRITION
Functional Foods Uncovered
Fatty Acid in Olive Oil Wards Off Hunger
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
Household Chemicals May Affect Cholesterol Levels
EYE CARE, VISION
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
FITNESS
Weak Muscles May Cause 'Runner's Knee'
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Deployment Takes Toll on Army Wives
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Treat Kids to a Safe Halloween
Protect Your Kids From Swine Flu While at Camp
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Add your Article

Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Preliminary research suggests people who suffered fatal cardiac arrest were more likely to have taken antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs than those who survived heart attacks.

But the findings haven't been confirmed elsewhere, and it's not clear whether the medications directly cause any problems. Those who take the drugs could have other medical issues that contribute to a higher death rate, the researchers noted.

"It is too early to give concrete advice" to patients who take the drugs, said study author Dr. Jussi Honkola, a researcher at the University of Oulu in Finland. "We need further studies about this possible relationship."

In other words, there's no indication that anyone needs to change the drugs that they take for conditions such as depression and anxiety.

At issue is sudden cardiac death -- when someone dies suddenly and unexpectedly, often within minutes, after the heart stops functioning properly. Heart attacks can lead to cardiac arrest and then sudden cardiac death. But heart attacks are technically something else -- the death of heart tissue because blood flow is disrupted.

A variety of conditions can cause sudden cardiac death, including the clogging of arteries caused by coronary heart disease.

And, "despite many years of intensive research we still don't know how to identify people who are at risk for sudden cardiac death," Honkola said.

In the new study, the Finnish researchers examined the medications taken by 321 victims of cardiac death compared with those taken by 609 patients who survived heart attacks.

The findings were to be released Thursday at the Heart Rhythm Society's annual meeting, in Boston.

The study doesn't reveal specifically which psychiatric drugs were examined, but it does say that those who died of cardiac death were more likely to have taken one of three types.

Almost 11 percent of those who suffered sudden cardiac death took antipsychotics, compared to 1.4 percent of those who survived heart attacks. The numbers for antidepressants were 7.4 percent and 3 percent, respectively, and 18.4 percent and 5 percent for benzodiazepines, which include drugs such as Xanax.

Those who survived heart attacks were more likely to take aspirin and the heart drugs known as beta blockers.

The findings "are interesting, even provocative, but much more work remains to be done in order to have a high degree of confidence in the results," said Dr. Robert A. Harrington, director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C.

"For now, society should insist upon randomized clinical trials during and after the drug approval process that test therapies in patients who will likely take the drugs in 'real life,'" Harrington said.

That means those who take part in tests of drugs represent those who ultimately take them when it comes to their medical conditions and the other drugs that they're taking, he explained.

More information

Learn more about sudden cardiac death from the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Jussi Honkola, M.D., researcher, University of Oulu, Finland; Robert A. Harrington, M.D., professor, medicine, Division of Cardiology, and director, Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, N.C.; May 14, 2009, presentation, Heart Rhythm Society annual meeting, Boston

Last Updated: May 14, 2009

Copyright 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com