ADHD Drug Use Not Tied to Serious Cardiovascular Events

Current ADHD drug use does not significantly increase risk of stroke, MI, cardiac death

TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Current use of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs is not associated with a significantly increased risk of serious cardiovascular events, according to a study published online Nov. 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

William O. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H., from the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and colleagues investigated whether ADHD drug use increased serious cardiovascular events risk. Data were collected from four health plans with 1,200,438 children and young adults (aged 2 to 24 years). Participants had 2,579,104 person-years of follow-up, including 373,667 person-years of current ADHD drug use. Serious cardiovascular events (sudden cardiac death, acute myocardial infarction, and stroke) were identified from health plan data and vital records, and validated by medical-record review. The relative risk of end points was compared between current users and nonusers.

The investigators identified 81 serious cardiovascular events (3.1 per 100,000 person-years) in cohort members. The risk of serious cardiovascular events was not significantly increased among current ADHD drug users (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.75; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.31 to 1.85), nor for any of the individual end points or for current versus former users (adjusted HR, 0.70; 95 percent CI, 0.29 to 1.72). In alternative analyses addressing several study assumptions, ADHD drug use showed no significant correlation with the risk of a study end point.

"This large study showed no evidence that current use of an ADHD drug was associated with an increased risk of serious cardiovascular events, although the upper limit of the 95 percent confidence interval indicated that a doubling of the risk could not be ruled out," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical and medical technology companies.

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