12/22/2009 - News

Symptoms of Depression Increase Stroke Risk

By: June Chen, MD

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The presence of depressive symptoms is a strong risk factor for stroke in men, but not in women, according to research published in the September 2008 issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry

The presence of depressive symptoms is a strong risk factor for stroke in men, but not in women, according to research published in the September 2008 issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry .

Previous studies that have looked at the relationship between depressive symptoms and stroke in the elderly population have been contradictory. Investigators from the Netherlands studied 4424 men and women who were at least 61 years of age and older. The study participants were evaluated for depressive symptoms using a questionnaire, and those who had depressive symptoms were interviewed for depressive disorder. The investigators found that men with depressive symptoms were at an increased risk for stroke. This association was not found among women.

It is not clear how depressive symptoms might contribute to stroke risk, although it has been speculated that people who are depressed are also more likely have a history of smoking, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Perhaps it would be interesting to study whether treating these depressive symptoms would then reduce stroke risk to that of the general population.

Source

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2008;79:997-1001.

Created on: 08/29/2008
Reviewed on: 12/22/2009

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Anonymous wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Someone who is taking an antidepressant and is worried about cardiovascular problem such as stroke, should be vigilant about risk factors such as smoking, weight and cholesterol,
healthy diet