SOCIETY


Depression May Double the Risk of Having a Stroke

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Baku, May 18, AZERTAC

Study reveals that persistent depression may increase stroke risk even after the symptoms of depression go away.

As if depression isn’t serious enough, it’s now linked to stroke.

Research published this week in the Journal of the American Heart Association reveals that persistent depression may double the risk of stroke in adults over 50 years old. Stroke risk also remains higher even after symptoms of depression go away.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines persistent depressive disorder as a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years.

The researchers used data from 16,178 participants who were 50 years of age and older and who had been interviewed every two years between 1998 and 2010 as part of the Health and Retirement Study, which was supported by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration.

Participants answered questions about depressive symptoms, history of stroke, and stroke risk factors.

The study documented 1,192 strokes over 12 years and discovered that people with high depressive symptoms at two consecutive interviews were more than twice as likely to have a first stroke compared to people without depression at either interview.

They also found that people who had depressive symptoms at the first interview but not the second had a 66 percent higher stroke risk.

Researchers did not evaluate whether depressive symptoms diminished because of treatment or for other reasons. However, they said the findings suggest that treatment, even if effective for depression, may not have immediate benefits for stroke risk.

Researchers also suggested that diminished depression may have a stronger effect on women than men. However, recent onset of depression was not associated with higher stroke risk.

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