Depression May Increase Stroke Risk and Interfere With Recovery


ISLAMABAD: People with depression might face a higher risk of having a stroke and more trouble recovering from one, according to new research.

The INTERSTROKE study results were published in the journal Neurology. It had about 27,000 participants, including people from 32 countries around the world.

The average age of study participants was 62. About half of them had a confirmed stroke. These people were matched with similar individuals who had not had a stroke. Participants answered questionnaires about heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Researchers also asked about symptoms of depression.

The study found that 18% of participants who had a stroke had symptoms of depression, compared to 14% of those who had not.

“After adjusting for age, sex, education, physical activity and other lifestyle factors, people with symptoms of depression before stroke had a 46% increased risk of stroke compared to those with no symptoms of depression,” Neuroscience News reported.

Having more symptoms of depression increased the risk. People who reported five or more symptoms had a 54% higher risk of stroke than those without any symptoms.

“In this global study we recorded that depressive symptoms are an important risk factor for acute stroke, including both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke,” said study author Robert P. Murphy of the University of Galway in Ireland.

“Our results show that symptoms of depression can have an impact on mental health, but also increase the risk of stroke. Physicians should be looking for these symptoms of depression and can use this information to help guide health initiatives focused on stroke prevention.”