Objective . Antipsychotics have been associated with increased cardiac events including mortality. This study assessed cardiac events including mortality among antipsychotic users relative to nonusers. Methods . The General Practice Research Database (GPRD) was used to identify antipsychotic users, matched general population controls, and psychiatric diseased nonusers. Outcomes included cardiac mortality, sudden cardiac death (SCD), all-cause mortality (excluding suicide), coronary heart disease (CHD), and ventricular arrhythmias (VA). Sensitivity analyses were conducted for age, dose, duration, antipsychotic type, and psychiatric disease. Results . 183,392 antipsychotic users (115,491 typical and 67,901 atypical), 544,726 general population controls, and 193,920 psychiatric nonusers were identified. Nonusers with schizophrenia, dementia, or bipolar disorder had increased risks of all-cause mortality compared to general population controls, while nonusers with major depression had comparable risks. Relative to psychiatric nonusers, the adjusted relative ratios (aRR) of all-cause mortality in antipsychotic users was 1.75 (95% CI: 1.64–1.87); cardiac mortality 1.72 (95% CI: 1.42–2.07); SCD primary definition 5.76 (95% CI: 2.90–11.45); SCD secondary definition 2.15 (95% CI: 1.64–2.81); CHD 1.16 (95% CI: 0.94–1.44); and VA 1.16 (95% CI: 1.02–1.31). aRRs of the various outcomes were lower for atypical versus typical antipsychotics (all-cause mortality 0.83 (95% CI: 0.80–0.85); cardiac mortality 0.89 (95% CI: 0.82–0.97); and SCD secondary definition 0.76 (95% CI: 0.55–1.04). Conclusions . Antipsychotic users had an increased risk of cardiac mortality, all-cause mortality, and SCD compared to a psychiatric nonuser cohort.
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