Increased #Risk of Stroke in Patients With #Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Nationwide Longitudinal Study

Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) tend to be comorbid with stroke-related risk factors, including obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. However, the temporal association between OCD and subsequent stroke risk is unclear.

Using data collected between 2001 and 2010 by Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database, 28 064 adult patients with OCD (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification [ICD-9-CM] code: 300.3) and 28 064 age-, sex-, and comorbidity-matched controls were included in this study. Patients who developed ischemic (ICD-9-CM codes: 433, 434, and 435) and hemorrhagic (ICD-9-CM codes: 430, 431, and 432) stroke during follow-up (from enrollment to end of 2011) were identified. Moreover, medications used for treating OCD were assessed.

Patients with OCD (hazard ratio [HR], 3.02 [95% CI, 1.91–4.77]), especially middle-aged (HR, 2.66 [95% CI, 1.34–5.29]) and elderly adults (HR, 3.46 [95% CI, 1.70–7.05]), had an elevated risk of developing ischemic stroke during the follow-up period compared with non-OCD controls. The cumulative HR of hemorrhagic stroke did not differ (HR, 0.87 [95% CI, 0.42–1.80]) between the OCD and non-OCD groups. In patients with OCD, both short- (HR, 1.69 [95% CI, 0.74–3.88]; HR, 0.31 [95% CI, 0.05–1.95]) and long-term use (HR, 1.37 [95% CI, 0.60–3.16]; HR, 0.90 [95% CI, 0.22–3.76]) of OCD medications were not correlated with ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke compared with nonuse.

Clinicians should closely monitor cerebrovascular disease and related risks in patients with OCD. The pathomechanism of OCD with an increased risk of ischemic stroke warrants further investigation.