Depression Can Raise A-Fib Risk


Research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology suggests that people with depression have an increased risk for atrial fibrillation or a-fib, a heart rhythm disorder that can put you at higher risk for stroke. In this study, the researchers examined associations between depression and antidepressant treatment and a-fib risk.

The study involved 785,254 people in Denmark who started treatment for depression from 2000 to 2013, as well as a control group. The researchers assessed atrial fibrillation risk in the month before antidepressant therapy was begun and after depression treatment started. They found that, compared with the control group, study participants with depression had a higher a-fib risk.

According to the researchers, these risks were:

  • 7.65 times higher 15 to 30 days before antidepressant therapy started
  • 4.29 times higher 1 to 15 days before antidepressant therapy started
  • 3.18 times higher during the first month of antidepressant therapy
  • 1.37 times higher at 2-6 months after starting antidepressant therapy
  • 1.11-times higher risk after 6 months to 1 year of depression treatment

Sourced from: European Society of Cardiology