Heart Health Monitoring Crucial for Those Taking ADHD Medications

Heart-Health-Monitoring-Crucial-For-Those-Taking-ADHD-Medications

A study published in JAMA Psychiatry reveals that prolonged use of ADHD medications increases the risk of cardiovascular disease in both children and adults.

Although many people still find that the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks, heart health should be closely considered as well as monitored prior to making individual decisions, according to experts.

Thousands of people with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, had their medical records monitored by researchers in Sweden between 2007 and 2020 for an average of four years and up to 14 years. 

The patients, who ranged in age from 6 to 64, were observed for several signs of cardiovascular disease. 

The researchers discovered that the risk of arterial disease and hypertension rose with time in those using ADHD medications.

After more significant increases in the first three years of treatment, the risk of heart disease increased by an average of 4% with each additional year of ADHD medication use before stabilizing. 

Overall, the findings indicate that the risk of heart disease was, although not as high as previously reported, 23% higher in those who had taken ADHD medication for more than five years than in those who had not.

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Heightened Cardiovascular Risk Found in Adults with ADHD

Heart-Health-Monitoring-Crucial-For-Those-Taking-ADHD-Medications
A study published in JAMA Psychiatry reveals that prolonged use of ADHD medications increases the risk of cardiovascular disease in both children and adults.

Experts state that it is not new to pay close attention to a patient’s cardiac health if they have ADHD. 

Previous studies have indicated an increased general risk of cardiovascular disease in adults with ADHD. 

Additionally, stimulants—which are frequently administered to treat ADHD—have been shown to raise blood pressure because they cause the heart to beat faster when the nervous system is aroused.

According to Dr. Mitch Elkind, chief clinical science officer for the American Heart Association, said pediatricians can often manage younger ADHD patients without the need for a cardiologist’s involvement because heart disease in children is so uncommon. 

There is no one-size-fits-all method when it comes to the use of ADHD medication; however, adults with underlying risk factors and children with particular concerns based on their medical history may benefit from a more cautious approach.

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