OBJECTIVE: To explore a possible temporal association between changes in antidepressant sales and suicide rates in different age groups. METHODS: A time series analysis using a two-slope model to compare suicide rates in Sweden before and after introduction of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs. RESULTS: Antidepressant sales increased between 1977-1979 and 1995-1997 in men from 4.2 defined daily doses per 1000 inhabitants and day (DDD/t.i.d) to 21.8 and in women from 8.8 to 42.4. Antidepressant sales were twice as high in the elderly as in the 25-44-year-olds and eight times that in the 15-24-year-olds. During the same time period suicide rates decreased in men from 48.2 to 33.3 per 10(5) inhabitants/year and in women from 20.3 to 13.4. There was significant change in the slope in suicide rates after the introduction of the SSRI, for both men and women, which corresponds to approximately 348 fewer suicides during 1990-1997. Half of these 'saved lives' occurred among young adults. CONCLUSION: We demonstrate a statistically significant change in slope in suicide rates in men and women that coincided with the introduction of the SSRI antidepressants in Sweden. This change preceded the exponential increase in antidepressant sales.
BACKGROUND: It has been suggested that antidepressants may have neuroprotective abilities but it has newer been investigated lately whether treatment with antidepressants reduces the risk of dementia. METHOD: Linkage of registers of all prescribed antidepressants and diagnoses of dementia in Denmark during a period from 1995 to 2005. RESULTS: Persons who purchased antidepressants once (N=687,552) had an increased rate of dementia compared to persons unexposed to antidepressants (N=779,831). Nevertheless, the rate of dementia changed over time; thus during the initial prescription periods the rate increased with the number of prescriptions but continued long-term antidepressants treatment was associated with a reduction in the rate of dementia, however, not to the same level as the rate for the general population. This pattern was found for all classes of antidepressants (SSRIs, newer non-SSRI antidepressants and older antidepressants). All findings were replicated in sub-analyses with Alzheimer's disease as outcome. LIMITATIONS: Methodological reasons for the findings cannot be excluded due to the non-randomized nature of data. CONCLUSIONS: Continued long-term antidepressant treatment was associated with a reduced rate of dementia, however, not to the same level as the rate for the general population.
BACKGROUND: Major depressive disorder is the second leading cause of disability-adjusted life-years in developed regions of the world and antidepressants are the third-ranking therapy class worldwide. AIMS: To test the public health impact of the escalating sales of antidepressants. METHOD: Nationwide data from Iceland are used as an example to study the effect of sales of antidepressants on suicide, disability, hospital admissions and out-patient visits. RESULTS: Sales of antidepressants increased from 8.4 daily defined doses per 1000 inhabitants per day in 1975 to 72.7 in 2000, which is a user prevalence of 8.7% for the adult population. Suicide rates fluctuated during 1950-2000 but did not show any definite trend. Rates for out-patient visits increased slightly over the period 1989-2000 and admission rates increased even more. The prevalence of disability due to depressive and anxiety disorders has not decreased over the past 25 years. CONCLUSIONS: The dramatic increase in the sales of antidepressants has not had any marked impact on the selected public health measures. Obviously, better treatment for depressive disorders is still needed in order to reduce the burden caused by them.
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
Although depression is common, prevalence estimates of antidepressant use among the workforce and undisputed evidence relating psychosocial work characteristics to depression is scarce. This study cross-sectionally assesses the prevalence of antidepressant use among employed in Sweden and Denmark and prospectively examines associations between work characteristics and antidepressant use.
Data on work demands, influence and learning possibilities was collected 2005-2006 from two representative samples of employed aged 20-59 years from Sweden (n=4351) and Denmark (n=8064) and linked to purchases of antidepressants through national prescription drug registries. Standardized 12-month prevalences were calculated. Cox regressions on work characteristics and incident use were performed separately and estimates pooled.
Employed Swedish residents had higher standardized prevalence than Danish, 6.0% compared to 5.0%. Working fast and conflicting demands were associated with incident use when estimates were pooled, but adjustment for baseline health attenuated these estimates. Emotionally disturbing situations were related to any incident use, and more strongly to use >179 defined daily dosages/year, even after adjustment for various covariates.
Statistics based on national prescription drug registries are influenced by, e.g., treatment seeking behaviours and other reasons for prescription than depression. Selective drop-out may also affect prevalence estimates.
The study indicates that use of antidepressants among the workforce is relatively high and that employed Swedish residents had higher prevalence of antidepressant use than Danish. Relationships between work characteristics and antidepressant use were, however, similar with emotional demands showing the strongest association, indicating that particular groups of employees may be at increased risk.
To examine antidepressant use before and after the diagnosis of diabetes.
This study was a longitudinal analysis of diabetic and nondiabetic groups selected from a prospective cohort study of 151,618 men and women in Finland (the Finnish Public Sector Study, 1995-2005). We analyzed the use of antidepressants in those 493 individuals who developed type 2 diabetes and their 2,450 matched nondiabetic control subjects for each year during a period covering 4 years before and 4 years after the diagnosis. For comparison, we undertook a corresponding analysis on 748 individuals who developed cancer and their 3,730 matched control subjects.
In multilevel longitudinal models, the odds ratio for antidepressant use in those who developed diabetes was 2.00 (95% CI 1.57-2.55) times greater than that in nondiabetic subjects. The relative difference in antidepressant use between these groups was similar before and after the diabetes diagnosis except for a temporary peak in antidepressant use at the year of the diagnosis (OR 2.66 [95% CI 1.94-3.65]). In incident cancer case subjects, antidepressant use substantially increased after the cancer diagnosis, demonstrating that our analysis was sensitive for detecting long-term changes in antidepressant trajectories when they existed.
Awareness of the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes may temporarily increase the risk of depressive symptoms. Further research is needed to determine whether more prevalent use of antidepressants noted before the diagnosis of diabetes relates to effects of depression, side effects of antidepressant use, or a common causal pathway for depression and diabetes.
It has been suggested that maternal depression during pregnancy is associated with asthma in the offspring, but the role of medical treatment of depression is not known. Our goal was to examine whether prenatal antidepressant use increases the risk of asthma in the offspring.
A cohort study was performed among all live singletons born in Denmark between 1996 and 2007. Mothers who had a diagnosis of depressive disorder and/or who used antidepressants 1 year before or during the index pregnancy were identified. Using a Cox proportional hazards regression model, we estimated the hazard ratio (HR) for asthma in the offspring after antidepressant use during pregnancy.
Of the 733,685 children identified, 84,683 had a diagnosis of asthma. A total of 21,371 children were exposed to prenatal maternal depression (ie, a diagnosis of depressive disorder or use of antidepressants 1 year before or during pregnancy). Prenatal maternal depression was associated with childhood asthma (HR: 1.25 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.20-1.30]). Overall, 8895 children were exposed to antidepressants in utero. Compared with children born to mothers with prenatal depression and no antidepressant use during pregnancy, the HR for asthma after any antidepressant use during pregnancy was 1.00 (95% CI: 0.93-1.08). HRs after use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors only, newer antidepressants only, and older antidepressants only were 0.95 (95% CI: 0.88-1.03), 1.11 (95% CI: 0.89-1.39), and 1.26 (95% CI: 1.02-1.55), respectively.
Antidepressant use during pregnancy generally did not increase the risk of asthma. Only use of older antidepressants was associated with an increased risk of asthma.
The aim was to study utilisation patterns and determinants of antidepressant use in the general population >30 years, especially short-term use or use not related to known psychiatric morbidity.
Participants from a cross-sectional population-based Finnish Health 2000 Study (2000--2001) were linked with the National Prescription Register and National Care Register for Health Care. Within a representative sample (N=7112) of the adult population (>30 years), 12-month DSM-IV depressive, anxiety, and alcohol use disorders were assessed with the M-CIDI. Utilisation patterns of antidepressants were categorised to short-term, intermittent and continuous use. Factors predicting short-term use or use not related to known psychiatric morbidity were investigated.
Of Finnish adults 7.1% had used antidepressants in 2000, of which two-thirds reported a physician-diagnosed mental disorder; a third (35%) had major depressive or anxiety disorder during the previous 12 months. In terms of utilisation pattern, 43% were long-term users, 32% intermittent users and 26% short-term users. Short-term use was related to care by a general practitioner and having no known mental disorder. A quarter of all users had no known psychiatric morbidity. This type of user was most common among the older age groups, and inversely related to being single, on disability pension and using mental health services.
Not all psychiatric indications for antidepressant use could be explored.
Depression remains the main indication for antidepressant use. About a quarter of users had no known psychiatric indication and the indication remained unclear. Short-term and non-psychiatric use are more commonly prescribed for the elderly.
Adverse life events or the commencement of adverse lifestyles associate with suicidal ideation, but most associations only have been identified in cross-sectional studies. More information is needed about whether they are true risk factors and independently predict the development of suicidal ideation.
A sample of the general population from Eastern Finland (n = 1,339) was followed-up for three-years with baseline and two follow-up assessments using postal questionnaires. The main adverse life events and changes in lifestyles were screened at baseline and on one- and three-year follow-up. The Beck Depression Inventory was used to assess the level of depression and the presence of suicidal ideation.
Suicidal ideation was common in the sample (annual incidence 4.3%). At baseline it associated with a cluster of adverse life events and lifestyles, as well as depression. Nevertheless, only the Beck Depression Inventory score on 3-year follow-up (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.22-1.45) and the onset of daily smoking during the follow-up period (OR 5.38, 95% CI 1.41-20.62) independently predicted the presence of suicidal ideation on 3-year follow-up among those who had been non-suicidal at baseline and on 1-year follow-up.
Depressive mood appears to be a necessary precondition for the occurrence of suicidal ideation even after adverse life events.