HealthDay News — No statistically significant association between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications and cardiovascular disease risk was found in a systematic review and meta-analysis published in JAMA Network Open.

Le Zhang, MPH, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues reviewed observational studies examining the association between ADHD medications and risk for cardiovascular disease. Data were included from 19 studies with 3,931,532 children, adolescents, and adults; 14 of these studies were cohort studies and were included in the meta-analysis.

The pooled adjusted relative risk (RR) did not indicate a statistically significant association between ADHD medication use and any cardiovascular disease among children and adolescents, young or middle-aged adults, or older adults (RRs [95% CIs], 1.18 [0.91-1.53], 1.04 [0.43-2.48], and 1.59 [0.62-4.05], respectively). No significant associations were observed for stimulants or nonstimulants (RRs [95% CIs], 1.24 [0.84 to 1.83] and 1.22 [0.25-5.97], respectively). No statistically significant association was found for cardiac arrest or arrhythmias (RR, 1.60; 95% CI, 0.94-2.72), cerebrovascular diseases (RR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.72-1.15), or myocardial infarction (RR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.68-1.65). In female patients and those with preexisting cardiovascular disease, no associations were observed (RRs [95 percent CIs], 1.88 [0.43-8.24] and 1.31 [0.80-2.16], respectively).


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“Health care professionals must exercise caution and not slavishly adhere to consensus guidelines or follow conclusions from meta-analyses when treating individual patients,” writes the author of an accompanying editorial. “Every treatment decision is a balance of potential harm and potential benefit, and that balance is different for every individual patient.”

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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