Monday, March 12, 2007

Antidepressants Help Men, But Not Women, Decrease Alcohol Consumption

I don't know how much antidepressants 'help' per say, but there is definitely a correlation.

Study background: "14,063 Canadian residents aged 18-76 years were surveyed. The survey included measures of quantity, frequency of drinking, depression and antidepressants use, over the period of a year.
The researchers used data from the GENACIS Canada survey, part of an international collaboration to investigate the influence of cultural variation on gender differences in alcohol use and related problems."

Findings: " Non-depressed men consumed 436 drinks per year, compared to 579 drinks for depressed men not using antidepressants, and 414 drinks for depressed men who used antidepressants.
Unfortunately for women, the alcohol use remained higher whether those experiencing depression took antidepressants or not. The numbers are telling: 179 drinks per year for non-depressed women, 235 drinks for depressed women not using antidepressants, and 264 drinks for depressed women who used antidepressants."

Conclusions: "While men suffering from depression generally consume more alcohol than non-depressed men, those who use antidepressants consume alcohol at about the same level as non-depressed men."

There are still many possible explanations for this that have nothing to do with the actual effects of the antidepressants themselves. Hopefully their next study can try to tease those out.

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