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Antidepressants and Atherosclerosis

The Vietnam Era Twin Registry is a research project involving roughly 7,000 middle-aged male twin pairs. It includes men who served in the military during the Vietnam War. These twins have been tracked for approximately 20 years. The study was initiated to assess the long-term health effects of service in Vietnam.
A new analysis has determined the impact of antidepressant medication on the thickness of the carotid arteries in the neck. In 50 twin pairs one man took an antidepressant while his brother did not. Those exposed to such medication had significantly thicker artery walls. The investigators ruled out depression itself or post traumatic stress disorder as contributors to this negative outcome. Thicker artery walls indicate accelerated atherosclerosis.
[American College of Cardiology, April 3-5, 2011]

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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