Recent Publication: Low adherence to antidepressants is associated with increased mortality in Parkinson disease patients

Low adherence to antidepressants is associated with increased mortality in Parkinson disease patients. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 2017. 43: pp. 92-96.

Shoval G, Stubbs B, Balicer RD, Feldman B, Hoshen M, Zalsman G, Sagy R, Hochman E, Weizman A, Krivoy A.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between adherence to antidepressants (AD) and all-cause mortality in a population-based cohort of patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD).

From a database of more than 4 million people, 8553 patients with PD who purchased an AD at least once between the years 2008-2011 were retrospectively followed for all-cause mortality over 4-years. Adherence was measured as a ratio between dispensed and prescribed durations and was modeled as: non-adherence (<20%, n = 1566), poor (20%-50%, n = 1184), moderate (50%-80%, n = 1584), and good (>80%, n = 4219) adherence. Multivariable survival analyses adjusted for demographic and clinical variables including physical comorbidities known to influence mortality were conducted, however there was no adjustment for other psychiatric disorders and medications.

Unadjusted mortality rates were 20.4%, 25.1%, 23.4% and 25.6% in those classified as non-adherent, poor, moderate and good adherence respectively (χ2 = 18.45, p < 0.0001). The non-adherent and poor adherence groups had significantly increased adjusted mortality hazard ratios (HR) of 1.43 (CI: 1.26-1.62) and 1.26 (CI: 1.1-1.44) respectively compared to the good adherence group. Using the same model, the adjusted HR for death among males was 1.49 [95% CI: 1.36-1.62] compared to females. People with PD and Charslon’s Comorbidity Index score of 3-4 (HR 1.3, P < 0.001) and 5+ (HR 1.78, P < 0.001) were more likely to die than those with 0-2 comorbidities.

Our findings suggest that poor adherence to AD is associated with increased all-cause mortality in people with PD. Given the high prevalence of depression and AD effectiveness, efforts to promote adherence should be prioritized in clinical practice.