Patients with mental disorders have increased risk of premature death compared with the background population.1 One suspected cause is arrhythmia associated with treatment with psychotropic drugs. Many of these drugs affect the heart's conduction system and can, in the worst case, lead to life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias.2 Recently, cardiologists have performed long-term (2-3 years) monitoring of electrocardiographic findings using an implantable loop recorder (ILR).3 To our knowledge, no ILR study has examined the incidence of arrhythmia in patients with mental disorder or in a background population. In a cohort of 103 patients suspected to have epilepsy (mean age, 46 years) who were monitored for a mean of 2.3 years, the incidence of arrhythmia was 21%.4 Pooled data from 9 studies of ILRs that examined unexplained syncope showed a median diagnostic yield of 35% (range, 26%-51%).5 In comparison, a study from the UK found a prevalence of arrhythmia of 2.35% in community-dwelling adults (mean age, 58 years), and the prevalence increased with increasing age.6 The purpose of the present study was to assess the feasibility of arrhythmia monitoring using an ILR and the incidence of arrhythmia in a population of psychiatric outpatients receiving psychotropic medication.
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Nordgaard J, Melchior T. Long-term Arrhythmia Detection Using an Implantable Loop Recorder in Patients Receiving Psychotropic Medication. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online October 06, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.2809
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