Washington, May 14 : A new study has suggested that long-term depression may double the risk of stroke in adults over 50 and stroke risk remains higher even after symptoms of depression go away.
Lead author Paola Gilsanz of Harvard University said that the findings suggest that depression may increase stroke risk over the long term.

The study documented 1,192 strokes over 12 years. Compared to people without depression at either interview and found that people with high depressive symptoms at two consecutive interviews were more than twice as likely to have a first stroke and 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; but findings suggest that treatment, even if effective for depression, may not have immediate benefits for stroke risk.

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

Gilsanz said that looking at how changes in depressive symptoms over time may be associated with strokes allowed us to see if the risk of stroke increases after elevated depressive symptoms start or if risk goes away when depressive symptoms do.

Gilsanz added that they were surprised that changes in depressive symptoms seem to take more than two years to protect against or elevate stroke risk.

The study appears in the Journal of the American Heart Association.


(Posted on 14 May 2015, 1679533637 34O239O173O144)