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Little Evidence of Heart Risks From ADHD Meds
Date:11/1/2011

or other problems that could potentially place them at risk. "We would need to think about their individual risk," he said, "but on a population level, this [study] suggests there is no increased risk."

Dr. Howard S. Weintraub, clinical director of the Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, agreed that the data should allay fears about the drugs' safety.

The findings indicate that "when these medicines are appropriately utilized and kids are screened appropriately, there is no increased risk," Weintraub said.

"This is a large trial that scrutinizes the lives of a lot of young kids," he said. "The only issues are that the population was from a Medicaid basis so it may be a little different from how some other people are treated but, if anything, you would expect them to be at greater risk."

Although there's no longer a universal mandate for EKG screening in children considering stimulant drugs for ADHD, they "should still be screened for risk factors such as family history of sudden unexplained cardiac death, a child history of unexplained seizures or congenital heart disease," said Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York in New Hyde Park.

He added that the results of the new study "hopefully provide further reassurance to parents and professionals that stimulant medications don't pose a significant cardiovascular risk."

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more on ADHD.

SOURCES: William O. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H., professor of pediatrics and preventive medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.; John Pliska, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, Texas A&
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