Psychotropic Medication Use Linked to Mortality in Cardiac Patients

Patients with symptoms of anxiety significantly more likely to use psychotropic medications after hospital discharge

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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- For cardiac patients, use of psychotropic medication is associated with increased mortality, according to a study recently published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing.

Pernille Fevejle Cromhout, Ph.D., from Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues examined the association between use of psychotropic medication, anxiety, and all-cause, one-year mortality among cardiac patients from the DenHeart survey.

Data were included for 12,913 patients, of whom 18 percent used psychotropic medication and 3 percent died within one year. Psychotropic medication use was higher among women, older patients, smokers, widowed patients, those with lower education, and patients with more comorbidity. Psychotropic medication was used by 28 percent of patients with symptoms of anxiety and 14 percent of those without anxiety. The researchers found that psychotropic medication use was associated with increased one-year, all-cause mortality (odds ratio, 1.90). Following hospital discharge, patients with symptoms of anxiety were significantly more likely to use psychotropic medication (odds ratio, 2.47).

"The use of psychotropic medication might partially explain the higher mortality among cardiac patients with symptoms of anxiety," the authors write. "However, the higher mortality among cardiac patients with symptoms of anxiety could be attributable to an underlying psychiatric illness rather than the use of psychotropic medication."

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