Following on from last week's report that antidepressant drugs were not effective against depression, a new study has also found they increase the risk of stroke and premature death. Around 2 per cent of people who take SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants die each year or suffer a stroke as a direct result of the drug, the study has discovered. Researchers analysed data on around 5,500 older women who were taking an antidepressant, and compared them with a similar group who were not taking the drug. The increased risk was 'statistically significant', say researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital. (Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009; 169: 2128-39).