Some psychiatric drugs triple the risk of stroke: study (Dr. Stephen Fitzpatrick)

Medications used to treat major mental illnesses double the risk of heart attack and triple the risk of stroke, according to research presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Vancouver this weekend.

Dr. Stephen Fitzpatrick, assistant head of Psychiatry at Providence Health Care, says the connection between a class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics and heart disease is well-known, but taking action can be difficult. Fitzpatrick is not connected to Goldie’s research, but says seriously ill people are often surviving in bleak conditions like the Downtown Eastside where a nutritious meal and brisk daily walk aren’t on the agenda.

Fitzpatrick and two other researchers associated with St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver recently completed a review that concluded patients with schizophrenia who develop heart disease rarely receive adequate followup treatment.

Erin Ellis reports

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Story also found in the Leader Post