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Use of central-nervous-system stimulant drugs in children carries no increased risk for major cardiovascular events in the short term, according to a BMJ study.
Researchers examined 1999–2006 Medicaid data from 28 states on 1.2 million patients between ages 3 and 18 with a new diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, adjustment reaction, disturbance of conduct, or emotional disturbance disorder. About a third of patients were prescribed a stimulant drug. The researchers looked for variations in the rate of stroke, acute MI, or sudden cardiac death in users versus nonusers of stimulants.
After a median 2 years' follow-up, there was no apparent difference in the rate of cardiovascular events between users and nonusers.
The authors comment that their study examined stimulant use over the short term, and "the results might not generalize to children who use stimulants over many years