An Epidemiologic Study of Psychotropic Medication and Obesity-Related Chronic Illnesses in Older Psychiatric Patients
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Objective: Adverse effects from medication vary with age. Weight gain with several psychotropics is well known in adults but less information is available related to extent and complications of psychotropic-induced weight gain in older psychiatric patients. We determined the relative incidence of 2 obesity-related conditions (diabetes and hypertension) in older psychiatric patients receiving antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers. Method: A population-based case-control study of all psychiatric patients aged 67 years or older in contact with either specialist services or primary care using administrative data from Nova Scotia. Results: We identified incident cases of diabetes (n = 608) and of hypertension (n = 1056), as well as an equal number of control subjects for each condition. Amitryptiline, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and olanzapine were associated with an increased risk of presenting with hypertension 6 months after initial prescription. By contrast, conventional antipsychotics were associated with a reduced incidence of hypertension. Olanzapine was also significantly associated with diabetes after 6 months (ORadj = 2.58, 95% CI 1.12 to 5.92). The findings for SSRIs and olanzapine remained significant after adjusting for potential confounders such as sociodemographic characteristics, schizophrenia, beta blockers, thiazide diuretics, and corticosteroids. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the association of psychotropics and 2 obesity-related conditions, hypertension and diabetes, applies to older psychiatric patients as well as younger populations. Within drug classes, there are drugs that have a greater association than others, and this may be a factor when choosing a specific agent.
Canadian Journal of Psychiatry
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Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified