Monday, April 2, 2012

Depression a Common Disorder in Stroke Victims

A substantial number of individuals who experience stroke or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) are depressed, Duke University researchers report in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke. They analyzed some 1,500 adults with stroke and found that 18 percent were depressed three months later and 13 percent a year later. For the 400 subjects with TIAs, 14 percent were depressed three months later and 13 percent a year later. Nearly 70 percent of stroke and TIA patients with persistent depression still weren't treated with antidepressants during the following year. The researchers determined depression using the Patient Health Questionnaire-8, which covers a range of depressive symptoms. Although the cause of the depression was not explored in the study, the depression may have contributed to the strokes or the strokes to the depression.

Still other research suggests that depression can contribute to stroke or heart attacks. For example, in a large prospective study of young adults, subjects who had been depressed were twice as likely to experience a fatal cardiovascular event as those who had not been depressed. For more information about this study, see Psychiatric News .

(Image: Kuzma/


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