The introduction of second-generation antipsychotic drugs during the 1990s is widely believed to have adversely affected mortality of patients with schizophrenia. Our aim was to establish the long-term contribution of antipsychotic drugs to mortality in such patients.
Nationwide registers in Finland were used to compare the cause-specific mortality in 66 881 patients versus the total population (5.2 million) between 1996, and 2006, and to link these data with the use of antipsychotic drugs. We measured the all-cause mortality of patients with schizophrenia in outpatient care during current and cumulative exposure to any antipsychotic drug versus no use of these drugs, and exposure to the six most frequently used antipsychotic drugs compared with perphenazine use.
Although the proportional use of second-generation antipsychotic drugs rose from 13% to 64% during follow-up, the gap in life expectancy between patients with schizophrenia and the general population did not widen between 1996 (25 years), and 2006 (22.5 years). Compared with current use of perphenazine, the highest risk for overall mortality was recorded for quetiapine (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.41, 95% CI 1.09-1.82), and the lowest risk for clozapine (0.74, 0.60-0.91; p=0.0045 for the difference between clozapine vs perphenazine, and p
Comment In: Lancet. 2009 Nov 7;374(9701):1591; author reply 1592-319897117
Comment In: Lancet. 2009 Nov 7;374(9701):1591; author reply 1592-319897118
Comment In: Lancet. 2009 Aug 22;374(9690):590-219595448
Comment In: Lancet. 2009 Nov 7;374(9701):1592; author reply 1592-319897121
Comment In: Lancet. 2009 Nov 7;374(9701):1592; author reply 1592-319897120
Alterations in monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) expression and enzyme activity may be associated with alcoholism and impulsive behavior. Therefore, functional polymorphisms in the MAOA gene would be good candidates to consider in the interindividual differences that exist in the susceptibility to alcoholism. One variant that has been considered as a candidate in alcoholism is a repeat polymorphism in the MAOA gene promoter. We analyzed a cohort of Finnish males with either type 1 or type 2 alcoholism, as well as controls, for differences in the distribution of MAOA promoter alleles. Based on other studies, we postulated that type 2 alcoholism, which is associated with antisocial behavior, but not type 1 alcoholism, would be correlated with the inheritance of the low promoter activity allele. However, we failed to find a difference in allele distribution in type 1 and type 2 alcoholics. In addition, there was no difference in the allele distribution when each group of alcoholics was compared with controls. However, when both groups of alcoholics were pooled and compared with controls, the difference in allele distribution reached a trend towards significance. Our results suggest a minimal association between the MAOA low activity promoter alleles and alcoholism, regardless of the presence or absence of antisocial behavior. Interestingly, approximately 3% of type 2 alcoholics were found to be heterozygous for the MAOA promoter polymorphism. Since MAOA is X-linked, the heterozygotes are probable cases of Klinefelter's syndrome (47,XXY) suggesting that X-chromosome aneuploidy may increase the risk for developing type 2 alcoholism.
The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI) and memantine use, duration of treatment, concomitant use of these drugs, and factors associated with the discontinuation of AChEI therapy during 2006-2009. We utilized data from a nationwide sample of community-dwelling individuals with a clinically verified Alzheimer's disease diagnosed during the year 2005 (n=6858) as a part of the MEDALZ-2005 study. During the 4-year follow-up, 84% used AChEI and 47% used memantine. Altogether, 22% of the sample used both drugs concomitantly. The median duration of the first AChEI use period was 860 (interquartile range 295-1458) days and 1103 (interquartile range 489-1487) days for the total duration of AChEI use. Although 20% of the AChEI users discontinued the use during the first year, over half of them restarted later. The risk of discontinuation was higher for rivastigmine [hazard ratio 1.34 (confidence interval 1.22-1.48)] and galantamine users [hazard ratio 1.23 (confidence interval 1.15-1.37)] compared with donepezil users in the adjusted model. In conclusion, median time for AChEI use was over 3 years and every fifth Alzheimer's disease patient used AChEI and memantine concomitantly during the follow-up. The low rate of discontinuation is consistent with the Finnish Care Guideline but in contrast to the results reported from many other countries.
It is unknown if antidepressant treatment is associated with either increased or decreased risk of suicide.
To estimate the risk of suicide, attempted suicide, and overall mortality during antidepressant treatments in a real-life setting with high statistical power.
A cohort study in which all subjects without psychosis, hospitalized because of a suicide attempt from January 1, 1997, to December 31, 2003, in Finland, were followed up through a nationwide computerized database.
A total of 15 390 patients with a mean follow-up of 3.4 years.
The propensity score-adjusted relative risks (RRs) during monotherapy with the most frequently used antidepressants compared with no antidepressant treatment.
In the entire cohort, fluoxetine use was associated with the lowest risk (RR, 0.52; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.30-0.93), and venlafaxine hydrochloride use with the highest risk (RR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.01-2.57), of suicide. A substantially lower mortality was observed during selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use (RR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.49-0.71; P
Comment In: Evid Based Ment Health. 2007 Aug;10(3):9017652572
It is generally acknowledged that depressed patients need specific attention during the first weeks after initiation of antidepressant (AD) treatment because of the increased risk of suicide.
The study population consisted of all individuals residing in Finland from 1999 to 2003 who had purchased a prescribed antidepressant at least once but had no preceding antidepressant prescription. Data sources were the National Prescription Register, the Causes of Death Register, Census Data of Statistics Finland, and the National Care Register. Follow-up started at the first purchase and ended at the end of 2003 or death. Data on prescriptions were used to construct contiguous treatment periods of follow-up time. Life-table analysis with Poisson regression was used to estimate risk ratios (RR) of antidepressant use with respect to all-cause mortality and to deaths from suicide.
Current AD use was associated with a lowered all-cause mortality (RR = 0.18, 95% CI = 0.18-0.19) compared with those who filled one previous prescription only. There was no difference in suicide mortality when any current antidepressant usage was compared to the one-prescription group. Current SSRI usage was associated with lower risk of suicide compared to the one-prescription or other antidepressant groups (RR 0.47, 0.38-0.59).
Current AD treatment is associated with decreased all-cause mortality rates in patients who have ever had AD treatment.
To study whether antidepressant use is associated with an increased risk of hip fracture among community-dwelling persons with and without Alzheimer's disease (AD), and to compare the risk according to duration of use and between antidepressant groups.
Retrospective cohort study, including 50,491 persons with AD (mean age 80) and 100,982 comparison persons without AD from Finnish register-based MEDALZ cohort. Antidepressant use was compared with nonuse with Cox proportional hazard models. Incident users were identified with a one year washout period from Prescription register data. Main outcome was hospitalization due to hip fracture.
During antidepressant use, the age-adjusted rate of hip fractures per 100 person-years was 3.01 (95% CI 2.75-3.34) among persons with and 2.28 (1.94-2.61) among persons without AD. Antidepressant use was associated with an increased risk of hip fracture among persons with and without AD (adjusted HR 1.61, 95% CI 1.45-1.80 and 2.71, 2.35-3.14, respectively) compared with nonuse. The risk was most prominent in the beginning of use and was elevated even up to 4 years. The risk was increased with all of the most frequently used antidepressants.
Use of antipsychotics for treatment of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia is frequent among persons with Alzheimer disease (AD). Doses used in long-term therapy have not been previously reported. We describe antipsychotic doses used among community-dwelling persons with AD and investigate factors associated with high-dose use. The MEDALZ-2005 (Medication use and Alzheimer disease) cohort is a nationwide sample including all persons with clinically diagnosed AD at the end of year 2005 in Finland (n = 28,093). Data including prescriptions, comorbidities, and hospital discharge diagnoses were collected from nationwide registers. Antipsychotic doses in monotherapy were investigated during 2006 to 2009. Among 8920 antipsychotic users, 4% (n = 336) used antipsychotics with high dose. Typical antipsychotics were more often used with high dose than atypical antipsychotics. High-dose use was associated with younger age (
Antipsychotic polypharmacy (APP) is not recommended in treatment of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). There is lack of studies concerning prevalence of APP among persons with dementia.
The objective of our study was to describe prevalence and risk factors associated with antipsychotic polypharmacy among antipsychotic users with Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Data from nationwide MEDALZ-2005 cohort including all community-dwelling persons diagnosed with AD in Finland was utilized. Register-based data included prescriptions, comorbidities, and hospital discharge diagnoses. Users of antipsychotics during 2006-2009 were included (n = 9,803). The risk of starting antipsychotic polypharmacy was evaluated with Cox proportional hazards model.
Prevalence of antipsychotic polypharmacy was 8% (n = 750) among antipsychotic users (n = 9,803). Quetiapine and risperidone was the most common combination of two antipsychotics followed by combination of quetiapine and haloperidol. Antipsychotic polypharmacy was associated with younger age (HR 1.35 [Confidence Interval, CI, 1.16-1.56]), male gender (HR 1.18 [CI 1.02-1.38]), and history of psychiatric disorder (HR 1.50 [CI 1.26-1.78]) in the adjusted model.
In conclusion, we found higher prevalence of APP than previously reported among older populations. This is concerning since effectiveness of APP has not been demonstrated and APP is not recommended in the treatment of BPSD. Clinicians should pay more attention to avoid APP and use of antipsychotics to other indications than BPSD among persons with AD.
It is generally believed that long-term use of antipsychotics increases mortality and, especially, the risk of cardiovascular death. However, there are no solid data to substantiate this view.
We identified all individuals in Sweden with schizophrenia diagnoses before year 2006 (N = 21 492), aged 17-65 years, and persons with first-episode schizophrenia during the follow-up 2006-2010 (N = 1230). Patient information was prospectively collected through nationwide registers. Total and cause-specific mortalities were calculated as a function of cumulative antipsychotic exposure from January 2006 to December 2010.
Compared with age- and gender-matched controls from the general population (N = 214920), the highest overall mortality was observed among patients with no antipsychotic exposure (hazard ratio [HR] = 6.3, 95% CI: 5.5-7.3), ie, 0.0 defined daily dose (DDD)/day, followed by high exposure (>1.5 DDD/day) group (HR = 5.7, 5.2-6.2), low exposure (
The use of antipsychotic agents has been associated with increased pneumonia risk, but although people with dementia are particularly susceptible to pneumonia, only one small study has assessed the risk of pneumonia in relation to the use of antipsychotic agents among people with Alzheimer disease (AD).
We investigated whether the incident use of antipsychotic agents, or specific antipsychotic agents, are related to a higher risk of hospitalization or death due to pneumonia in the Medication and Alzheimer Disease (MEDALZ) cohort. The cohort includes all individuals with AD who received a clinically verified AD diagnosis in Finland in 2005 to 2011 (N = 60,584; incident pneumonia, n = 12,225). A matched comparison cohort without AD (N = 60,584; incident pneumonia, n = 6,195) was used to compare the magnitude of risk. Results were adjusted for a propensity score derived from comorbidities, concomitant medications, and sociodemographic characteristics. Sensitivity analyses with case-crossover design were conducted.
The use of antipsychotic agents was associated with a higher risk of pneumonia (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 2.01; 95% CI, 1.90-2.13) in the AD cohort and a somewhat higher risk in the non-AD cohort (adjusted HR, 3.43; 95% CI, 2.99-3.93). Similar results were observed with case-crossover analyses (OR, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.75-2.34 in the AD cohort and OR, 2.59; 95% CI, 1.77-3.79 in the non-AD cohort). The three most commonly used antipsychotic agents (quetiapine, risperidone, haloperidol) had similar associations with pneumonia risk.
Regardless of applied study design, treatment duration, or the choice of drug, the use of antipsychotic agents was associated with a higher risk of pneumonia. With observational data, we cannot fully rule out a shared causality between pneumonia and the use of antipsychotic agents, but the risk to benefit balance should be considered when antipsychotic agents are prescribed.