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The relationship between syncope, depression and anti-depressant use in older adults.

Bhangu, Jaspreet S; King-Kallimanis, Bellinda; Cunningham, Conal; Kenny, Rose Anne.
Age Ageing; 43(4): 502-9, 2014 Jul.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24496179


BACKGROUND: syncope is a common problem which increases in older age groups. In syncope clinics, patients who are depressed have higher rates of unexplained syncope and higher rates of recurrent syncope. OBJECTIVES: : we aim to examine the rates of depression in older patients reporting syncope and the effect of anti-depressants (ADs) on the rates of syncope. DESIGN: : epidemiological, point-prevalence study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: : data came from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, which includes 8,175 adults aged 50 and older, living in the community in Ireland. MEASUREMENTS: : the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale was used to assess levels of depression. Multinomial regression was used to analyse the data with a P-value of <0.05 determining significance. RESULTS: : 7,993 participants aged 50 and older were included, and of these 349 reported at least one syncopal episode in the last year. Prevalence of syncope was 4.4%. After controlling for participant characteristics and general health, those with severe depression had a greater risk of single and multiple syncopal events (relative risk ratios [RRR]: 2.78 and 2.84, respectively, P < 0.050) and participants treated with tricyclic anti-depressants (TCAs) were also at greater risk for single and multiple syncopal episode in the last year (RRR: 2.31, P = 0.062; RRR: 2.95, P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: : this study demonstrates an increased risk of syncope in patients with depression, with higher rates of syncope reported with increasing severity of depression. Treatment with TCAs increases both the risk and frequency of syncope in the community. Depression is a potentially modifiable risk factor for syncope but treatment options need to be tailored in the older patient population.