Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and risks of stroke in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder: A population-based study

Che Sheng Chu, Po Han Chou, Ching Heng Lin, Chin Cheng, Chia Jui Tsai, Tsuo Hung Lan, Min Wei Huang, Gerald Nestadt

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Background: Previous research has suggested a link between antidepressants use and the development of cerebrovascular events, but there has never been any study investigating the risk of stroke in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) patients treated with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Methods: A retrospective observational cohortstudy was conducted using data from the National Health Insurance Database of Taiwan between the year of 2001 and 2009. A total of 527 OCD patients with 412 subjects in the SSRI use group and 115 in the non SSRI use group were included. Multivariable Cox proportional-hazards models were used to explore the associations between SSRI use and the occurrence of stroke, controlling for age, gender, concomitant medications, and comorbid medical illnesses. Results: A total of nineteen OCD patients were diagnosed with new onset of stroke during the follow-up period including six cases in the SSRI group and thirteenin the non SSRI use group. SSRI use was demonstratedto be associated with a decreased risk of stroke (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.30; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.10-0.86, P = 0.02). The increase in age-related risk of strokes was 2.55 per decade (HR = 2.55; 95% CI = 1.74-3.75, P<0.001). Alternatively, sex, concomitant use of aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatorydrugs, and comorbidities with angina pectoris, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia were not found to be associated with an increased risk for stroke in OCD patients. Conclusions Our study showed that SSRI use was associated with decreased risk of stroke in OCD patients. Further investigation into the possible biological mechanisms underlying the relationship between stroke and SSRI use in OCD patients is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0162239
JournalPLoS One
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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