Aim: Antipsychotics increase the risk of stroke. Their effect on myocardial infarction remains uncertain because people prescribed and not prescribed antipsychotic drugs differ in their underlying vascular risk making between-person comparisons difficult to interpret. The aim of our study was to investigate this association using the self-controlled case series design that eliminates between-person confounding effects.
Methods and results: All the patients with a first recorded myocardial infarction and prescription for an antipsychotic identified in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink linked to the Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project were selected for the self-controlled case series. The incidence ratio of myocardial infarction during risk periods following the initiation of antipsychotic use relative to unexposed periods was estimated within individuals. A classical case-control study was undertaken for comparative purposes comparing antipsychotic exposure among cases and matched controls. We identified 1546 exposed cases for the self-controlled case series and found evidence of an association during the first 30 days after the first prescription of an antipsychotic, for first-generation agents [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 2.82, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.0-3.99] and second-generation agents (IRR: 2.5, 95% CI: 1.18-5.32). Similar results were found for the case-control study for new users of first- (OR: 3.19, 95% CI: 1.9-5.37) and second-generation agents (OR: 2.55, 95% CI: 0.93-7.01) within 30 days of their myocardial infarction.
Conclusion: We found an increased risk of myocardial infarction in the period following the initiation of antipsychotics that was not attributable to differences between people prescribed and not prescribed antipsychotics.
Keywords: Antipsychotic agents; Case–control study; Myocardial infarction; Self-controlled case series.
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.