- The use of antipsychotic medications was associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality in older adults with and without dementia, including those with no history of mental illness.
- Dementia significantly increased mortality risk, and antipsychotic medication use raised the risk even higher.
Why this matters
- Nearly half of study participants with dementia were prescribed an antipsychotic compared with just under 5% of those without dementia.
- Data from Department of Veterans Affairs registries on 716,841 community-dwelling adults age ≥65 years with no history of serious mental illness, dementia.
- Funding: National Institutes of Health.
- 1.8% of participants diagnosed with dementia during study period, of which 48.8% were prescribed antipsychotics.
- Approximately 4.7% of patients not diagnosed with dementia used antipsychotics.
- Mortality risk was higher with dementia and antipsychotic use (78%), followed by dementia alone (73%), antipsychotic use but no dementia (55%) vs no dementia or antipsychotic use (42%) (P<.0001>
- Dementia vs no dementia was associated with higher mortality risk (aHR, 2.26; P<.001>
- Exposure vs nonexposure of typical (aHR, 2.12; P<.001 and atypical p antipsychotics was associated with higher mortality>
- Retrospective study design.
- Results may not be generalizable to nonveteran groups.
Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD