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Study Finds Association between Sudden Death and Stimulant Medications

June 14, 2009

Researchers found support for an association between the use of stimulants and sudden unexplained death among children and adolescents, according to a study released today by The American Journal of Psychiatry.

The rate of stimulant use among 564 children and adolescents whose sudden deaths were attributed to cardiac dysrhythmia or unknown causes was 1.8 percent, compared to 0.4 percent for youth who died as passengers in motor vehicle accidents. Although stimulant use had a greater association with sudden unexplained death, the overall incidence of sudden explained death was still rare.

For some time, concerns have arisen that stimulants may increase the risk for sudden unexplained death in children.


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