ADHD medications NOT associated with adult CVD risk

The Wall Street Journal reports that medications used for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) appear NOT to raise the risk of serious cardiovascular disease (CVD) in adults, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

These “results echo findings in a study of children with AD/HD, by the same researchers, published last month,” the AP reports. The present study, which “involved health records for more than 440,000 adults aged 25 to 65,” revealed that “those on AD/HD drugs had about the same number of heart attacks, strokes and sudden heart-related deaths as adults who didn’t use those” medicines.

Bloomberg News pointed out that while medicines for AD/HD “are often considered childhood medications, nearly one-third of all” medications “taken for … AD/HD are used by adults.”

Medications “used to treat” AD/HD may “raise blood pressure and heart rate, which theoretically could contribute to heart complications.”

In 2006, the Food and Drug Administration “urged drugmakers to warn parents and patients about the potential danger … after reports that the medicines could increase heart risks in children.”

“The study came as use of medications to treat AD/HD rose sharply among adults, with more than 1.5 million adult men and women using such medication in 2005,” CQ explains. “Participants in the” present “study had prescriptions for methylphenidate, amphetamine, or atomoxetine.”

“As an editorial accompanying the study put it, there was only one additional case of a heart attack, stroke or sudden cardiac death for every 5,900 person-years of treatment,” the Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reports.

“The bottom line for the estimated 1.5 million American adults who take these AD/HD meds: There is ‘no evidence of an increased risk’ of heart attack, stroke or sudden cardiac death in people taking the drugs, the authors wrote.”

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