To study how long antidepressants initiated after diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease (AD) were used and factors associated with discontinuation of use among persons with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In addition, differences in duration of use between the antidepressants groups were compared.
Register-based Medication use and Alzheimer's disease (MEDALZ) cohort included 70,718 community-dwelling people with AD who were diagnosed during the years 2005-2011. For this study, the new antidepressant users were included after 1-year washout period (N?=?16,501; 68.6% females, mean age 80.9). The duration of antidepressant use was modeled with the PRE2DUP method. Factors associated with treatment discontinuation were assessed with Cox proportional hazard models and included age, gender, comorbid conditions and concomitant medications.
Median duration of the new antidepressant use period was 309 days (IQR 93-830). For selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use, the median duration was 331 days (IQR 101-829), for mirtazapine 202 days (IQR 52-635), and for serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) 134 days (IQR 37-522). After 1-year follow-up, 40.8% had discontinued antidepressant use, 54.6% after 2 years and 64.1% after 3 years. Factors associated with treatment discontinuation were age over 85, male gender, diabetes, and use of memantine, opioids, and antiepileptics whereas benzodiazepines and related drugs and antipsychotic use were inversely associated with discontinuation.
Antidepressants are used for long-term among people with AD. Need and indication for antidepressant use should be assessed regularly as evidence on their efficacy for behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia is limited.
The study aimed to investigate the incidence of antidepressant use in persons with and without Alzheimer's disease (AD) from 9?years before to 4?years after AD diagnosis and to examine the incidence of different antidepressant groups.
We used register-based data from the Medication use and Alzheimer's disease cohort including all Finnish persons diagnosed with AD in 2005-2011 with their age-matched and gender-matched comparison persons without AD. In this study, 62,104 persons with AD and 62,104 comparison persons were included. Data on dispensed antidepressants during 1995-2012 were collected from the Prescription Register. A 1-year washout period was utilized to measure the rate of new antidepressant users every 6-month period starting from 9?years before and until 4?years after the AD diagnoses. The incidence rate between persons with and without AD was compared with Poisson regression.
The incidence of antidepressant use in persons with AD was higher during the whole study period compared with that in persons without AD. The incidence rate was highest at 6?months after AD diagnosis (incidence rate ratio?=?5.22, 95% confidence interval 4.77-5.72). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors were the most frequently initiated group (61.3% of initiations in persons with AD).
The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of benzodiazepine and related drug (BZDR) use, especially long-term use, and associated factors among community-dwelling individuals with and without Alzheimer's disease (AD). We utilized data from the MEDALZ-2005 cohort, which includes all community-dwelling individuals diagnosed with AD in Finland at the end of 2005 and matched comparison individuals without AD. Register-based data included prescription drug purchases, comorbidities, and hospital discharge diagnoses. In this study, 24,966 individuals with AD and 24,985 individuals without AD were included. During the 4-year follow-up, we found that 45% (N = 11,312) of individuals with AD and 38% (N = 9534) of individuals without AD used BZDRs. The prevalence of long-term (= 180 days) BZDR use was more common among individuals with AD (30%) than individuals without AD (26%). The median durations of the first long-term use periods of BZDRs were 1.5 and 2 years for individuals with and without AD, respectively. Factors associated with long-term BZDR use included female sex, AD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, coronary artery disease, and asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The high prevalence of long-term BZDR use among individuals with AD is especially a cause for concern because long-term use may further impair cognition and may be associated with serious adverse events.
Antidepressant use has been associated with an increased risk of falling, but no studies have been conducted on whether antidepressant use is associated with an increased risk of head injuries which often result from falling among older persons. The objective of this study was to investigate the risk of head and brain injuries associated with antidepressant use among community-dwelling persons with Alzheimer's disease.
A matched cohort study was conducted by comparing new antidepressant users (n?=?10,910) with two matched nonusers (n?=?21,820) in the MEDALZ study cohort. The MEDALZ cohort includes all community-dwelling persons newly diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease between 2005 and 2011 in Finland. Incident antidepressant users were identified based on register-based dispensing data from the Prescription register with a 1-year washout period for antidepressant use. Nonusers were matched with users based on age, gender, and time since Alzheimer's disease diagnosis. The outcome events were defined as any head injuries and traumatic brain injuries based on diagnoses in Hospital Discharge and Causes of Death registers. Propensity score adjusted Cox proportional hazard models were utilized. Sensitivity analyses with case-crossover design were conducted. All registers are linkable with unique personal identification numbers assigned for each resident.
Antidepressant use was associated with an increased risk of head injuries (age-adjusted event rate per 100 person-years 2.98 (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.49-3.06) during use and 2.43 (95% CI 2.06-2.35) during nonuse, adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.35, 95% CI 1.20-1.52) and traumatic brain injuries (age-adjusted event rate per 100 person-years 1.33 (95% CI 1.13-1.53) during use and 1.10 (95% CI 1.00-1.20) during nonuse, adjusted HR 1.26, 95% CI 1.06-1.50). The risk was highest during the first 30 days of use (HR 1.71, 95% CI 1.10-2.66 for head injuries; HR 2.06, 95% CI 1.12-3.82 for traumatic brain injuries) and remained at an elevated level for head injuries for over 2 years of use. In case-crossover analyses, antidepressant use was consistently associated with a higher risk of head injuries.
Antidepressant use was associated with an increased risk of the most severe outcomes, head and brain injuries, in persons with Alzheimer's disease. Antidepressant use should be carefully considered and the association confirmed in future studies.
Cites: Int J Clin Pract. 2009 Jul;63(7):1085-94 PMID 19570125
Cites: Ann Pharmacother. 2012 Jul-Aug;46(7-8):917-28 PMID 22811347
Cites: J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2015 Sep;79(3):449-54 PMID 26535433
It is unknown whether cognitive status or diagnosed cognitive decline affects estrogen use.
We assessed how common systemic estrogen use was among community-dwellers with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and a matched comparison cohort without AD.
This study included an exposure-matched cohort of all Finnish community-dwelling women who received a clinically verified diagnosis of AD in 2005-2011 (N?=?46,116; index cases) and an equally sized matched comparison cohort without AD. Follow-up began on the matching date (date of the AD diagnosis of the index case). Data on systemic estrogen use were obtained from the prescription register. Use initiation and discontinuation were assessed.
Altogether 3.1% of women with AD and 4.3% of women without AD used estrogen during the follow-up period. Only?