Depression provokes stroke
According to a preliminary study, which should be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, people with more severe symptoms of depression have a higher risk of stroke compared with people with no or small amounts of depression.
According to the author of the study, Marialaura Simonetto (Marialaura Simonetto) from the University of Miami (University of Miami), depression is quite common, and often it is not treated. But the results show how depression can affect the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. “If people with depression are at increased risk of stroke, early detection and treatment will be even more important,” said Simonetto.
The study involved 1104 people with an average age of 70 years who have never had a stroke. The participants were observed on average 14 years. 18% of the participants, or 198 people, had pronounced symptoms of depression at the beginning of the study. These symptoms were assessed using a questionnaire in which participants were asked how often they felt sadness last week, how difficult it was for them to do something, if they had a bad appetite, etc.
During the study, 101 people suffered a stroke. Of these, 87 were ischemic strokes, in which the blood flow was blocked in a specific part of the brain. After taking into account other factors that may affect the risk of the disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking, the researchers found that people with elevated symptoms of depression were 75% more likely to develop ischemic stroke than people without symptoms of depression. An increase in the level of depression was combined with an increased risk of stroke.
Of the 198 people with increased symptoms of depression, 22 subsequently developed ischemic stroke, compared with 65 out of 906 people who did not have or had only a small number of symptoms.
Simonetto noted that further work is needed to confirm these results. According to her, this study does not prove that depression causes a stroke, but demonstrates a definite connection between them.
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