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Associations of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Antidepressant Prescription with Survival in Alzheimer’s Disease

Mueller, C; Huntley, J; Stubbs, B; Sommerlad, A; Carvalho, AF; Perera, G; Stewart, R; (2017) Associations of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Antidepressant Prescription with Survival in Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association , 18 (12) pp. 1076-1081. 10.1016/j.jamda.2017.07.001. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Depression is associated with increased mortality in community samples. The use of antidepressant medication may also increase mortality, however, it is still unclear whether taking antidepressants before or after a diagnosis of dementia influences survival. DESIGN: Retrospective. SETTING: A cohort with a diagnosis of Alzheimer disease (AD) from a large mental health and dementia care database in South London, linked to hospitalization and mortality data. PARTICIPANTS: Mild dementia (Mini-Mental State Examination ≥18/30) at the point of diagnosis. MEASUREMENTS: We ascertained antidepressant prescription, either in the 6 months before or after dementia diagnosis, and used the HoNOS65+, a standard clinician-rated measure of patient well-being, to determine depression severity and other neuropsychiatric, physical health, and functional difficulties. We conducted a survival analysis, adjusted for potential confounders and addressed possible confounding by indication through adjusting for a propensity score. RESULTS: Of 5473 patients with AD, 22.8% were prescribed an antidepressant in a 1-year window around dementia diagnosis. Of these, 2415 (44.1%) died in the follow-up period [mean (standard deviation) 3.5 (2.4) years]. Prescription of an antidepressant, both before and after dementia diagnosis, was significantly associated with higher mortality after adjusting for a broad range of potential confounders including symptom severity, functional status, and physical illness (hazard ratio 1.22; 95% confidence interval 1.08-1.37 for prescription prior to dementia diagnosis; 95% confidence interval 1.04-1.45 for prescription post dementia diagnosis). In stratified analyses, risks remained significant in those without neuropsychiatric symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: The prescription of antidepressants around the time of dementia diagnosis may be a risk factor for mortality.

Type: Article
Title: Associations of Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and Antidepressant Prescription with Survival in Alzheimer’s Disease
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2017.07.001
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2017.07.001
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Dementia, antidepressants, depression, mortality
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1572478
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