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No increase in severe cardiovascular events for children, adolescents taking ADHD medications
Date:5/15/2011

iod they were on medication (a median of 135 days). The researchers then compared rates of sudden death, heart attack, and stroke in patients taking ADHD medications to those not taking medications who were of the same age, sex and from the same state over a median of 609 days.

The researchers found 28 deaths in the group exposed to ADHD medications (incidence 1.79 per 10,000 person-years) and 607 in the control group (incidence 3.00 per 10,000 person-years). Additionally, the researchers identified no cases of heart attack or stroke in the group who received ADHD medications and 11 cases in the unexposed group. Because the group of children and adolescents receiving ADHD medications had no validated reports of stroke and heart attack, researchers were unable to rule out relative increases in the rate of such events from use of the drugs.

"The fact that the rates of cardiovascular events that could be identified were very low is of interest because at least we can tell that we do not have an epidemic of such events in kids receiving ADHD drugs," Hennessy says. "If ADHD medications were causing an epidemic of cardiovascular events, we would expect to see it in this study."

"This is one of first answers but it won't be the last," Hennessy says, adding that since 2007, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has been looking into the potential cardiovascular risks of ADHD medications on children. "Until the results of the FDA study become public, this study should provide reassurance to parent and caregivers that ADHD drugs are safe from cardiovascular perspective."


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Contact: Karen Kreeger
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5658
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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