Understanding the Association Between Antidepressants and the Risk of Being Diagnosed with Dementia in Older People : A Self-Controlled Case Series Study

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Kui Kai Lau
  • Paul S.F. Yip
  • Ian C.K. Wong

Related Research Unit(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-744
Journal / PublicationJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Volume78
Issue number2
Online published10 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Abstract

Background: Given concerns about adverse outcomes for older people taking antidepressants in the literature, we investigated whether taking antidepressants elevates the risk of dementia. Objective: This study aims to investigate the putative association of antidepressants with the risk of dementia. Methods: We conducted a population-based self-controlled case series analysis of older people with dementia and taking antidepressants, using territory-wide medical records of 194,507 older patients collected by the Hospital Authority of Hong Kong, to investigate the association between antidepressant treatment and the risk of developing dementia in older people. Results: There was a significantly higher risk of being diagnosed with dementia during the pre-drug-exposed period (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 20.42 (95% CI: 18.66-22.34)) compared to the non-drug-exposed baseline period. The IRR remained high during the drug-exposed period (IRR 8.86 (7.80-10.06)) before returning to a baseline level after washout (IRR 1.12 (0.77-1.36)). Conclusion: The higher risk of dementia before antidepressant treatment may be related to emerging psychiatric symptoms co-occurring with dementia, which trigger medical consultations that result in a decision to begin antidepressants. Our findings do not support a causal relationship between antidepressant treatment and the risk of dementia.

Research Area(s)

  • Alzheimer's disease, antidepressants, causal associations, dementia, self-controlled case series studies

Citation Format(s)

Understanding the Association Between Antidepressants and the Risk of Being Diagnosed with Dementia in Older People : A Self-Controlled Case Series Study. / Xu, Zhongzhi; Yang, Jiannan; Lau, Kui Kai; Yip, Paul S.F.; Wong, Ian C.K.; Zhang, Qingpeng.

In: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Vol. 78, No. 2, 2020, p. 735-744.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review