Thursday February 27, 2020

Antidepressants May up Mortality Risk in Lung Disease Patients

The study results should not cause alarm among those who use these medications, but rather increase caution among patients and physicians

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A majority of overall increase occurred in India, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa.
A majority of overall increase occurred in India, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa. (IANS)

While popping antidepressants may lift your mood, it may turn deadly especially for elderly suffering from obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — progressive lung disease that causes increasing breathlessness, say researchers.

The findings showed that new users of serotonergic antidepressants were at 20 per cent increased risk of death.

They may also have 15 per cent higher likelihood of hospitalization including higher rates of emergency room visits, and mortality related to respiratory conditions, as well as death overall versus non-users of the medications.

“There are biological reasons why antidepressants could lead to respiratory issues,” said lead author Nicholas Vozoris from Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital in Canada.

“These drugs can cause sleepiness, vomiting and can negatively impact immune system cells, which increases the likelihood of infections, breathing issues, and other respiratory adverse events, especially in patients with COPD,” Vozoris explained.

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Pills (representational Image), Pixabay

Due to the nature of the disease, more than 70 per cent of those with COPD also struggle with symptoms of low mood and anxiety, explained Vozoris, why the patients tend to have antidepressants.

For the study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, included data from 28,360 new users of serotonergic antidepressants with COPD aged 66 and older and matched them to an equivalent number of non-users.

The results showed that among older adults with COPD, new users of this class of medication have modest, but significant, increases in rates of breathing-related death and all causes of death.

Also Read: Daily Exercise May Boost Better Lung Function Among Smokers

“The study results should not cause alarm among those who use these medications, but rather increase caution among patients and physicians,” Vozoris said.

“I hope our study encourages increased awareness when prescribing these medications and monitoring for adverse side effects. Also, because there is this association, we as physicians should give thought to psychotherapy and pulmonary rehabilitation as non-drug related treatment,” Vozoris suggested. (IANS)

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Women who Exercise Vigorously Face Lower Mortality Risk, Says New Study

"The best situation is to have normal heart performance during exercise and good exercise capacity," Peteiro added

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Regular exercise is highly beneficial for all patients with Heart disease regardless of age, a new study has said, adding that patients who benefited most from cardiac rehabilitation were those who started out with the greatest physical impairment. Pixabay

Women who exercise vigorously are at significantly lower risk of dying from heart disease, cancer and other causes, reveals a new study.

The study, presented at EuroEcho 2019, a scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), examined exercise capacity and heart function during exercise in women and their links with survival.

The study included over 4,000 adult women referred for treadmill exercise echocardiography because of known or suspected coronary artery disease.

“Exercise as much as you can. Fitness protects against death from any cause,” said study author Jesus Peteiro from University Hospital A Coruna in Spain.

For the findings, participants walked or ran on a treadmill, gradually increasing the intensity, and continuing until exhaustion.

Images of the heart were generated during the test. Fitness was defined as a maximal workload of 10 metabolic equivalents (METs), which is equal to walking fast up four flights of stairs or very fast up three flights, without stopping.

Women who achieved 10 METs or more (good exercise capacity) were compared to those achieving less than 10 METs (poor exercise capacity).

During a median follow-up of 4.6 years there were 345 cardiovascular deaths, 164 cancer deaths, and 203 deaths from other causes.

After adjusting for factors that could influence the relationship, METs were significantly associated with lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other causes.

long sitting hours, prolonged sitting, damage, exercise, treatment
Regular jogging was found to be the best type of exercise. Pixabay

The annual rate of death from cardiovascular disease was nearly four times higher in women with poor, compared to good, exercise capacity (2.2 per cent versus 0.6 per cent).

Annual cancer deaths were doubled in patients with poor, compared to good, exercise capacity (0.9 per cent versus 0.4 per cent).

The annual rate of death from other causes was more than four times higher in those with poor, compared to good, exercise capacity (1.4 per cent vs 0.3 per cent).

“Good exercise capacity predicted lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other causes,” Peteiro said.

The researcher noted that most study participants were middle aged or older women: the average age was 64 and 80 per cent were between 50 and 75.

“The results were the same for women over 60 and less than 60 although the group under 50 was small,” said Peteiro.

Regarding imaging of the heart, the researchers assessed function of the left ventricle (one of the heart’s pumping chambers) during the exercise test.

Patients with poor heart function during exercise had a higher probability of death from cardiovascular disease during follow-up.

Also Read: Beti Bachao Can’t Just be Relegated to a Campaign, Says Actress Shilpa Shetty

Heart function during exercise did not predict the likelihood of death from cancer or other causes.

“Looking at both examinations together, women whose heart works normally during exercise are unlikely to have a cardiovascular event. But if their exercise capacity is poor, they are still at risk of death from cancer or other causes,” Peteiro said.

“The best situation is to have normal heart performance during exercise and good exercise capacity,” Peteiro added. (IANS)