Friday, December 14, 2012

Study Finds Link Between Psychosocial Distress, Stroke Risk

Increasing levels of psychosocial distress appear to be related to excess risk of both fatal and nonfatal stroke in older black and white adults, according to a report published online yesterday in Stroke.   
Study author Susan Everson Rose, Ph.D., M.P.H., and colleagues at the University of Minnesota used data from the Chicago Health and Aging Project, a longitudinal population-based study conducted in three contiguous neighborhoods on the south side of Chicago. Baseline interviews were conducted in participants’ homes between 1993 and 1999 and included questions on medical history, cognitive health, socioeconomic status, behavioral patterns, and psychosocial characteristics.

There were 4,120 participants for whom there was follow-up data about fatal strokes and 2,649 for whom there was data on nonfatal stroke. Adjusting for age, race, and sex, the hazard ratio for an increase of one standard deviation in scores for "psychosocial distress" was 1.47 for stroke mortality and 1.18 incident stroke.

“This study identified a robust relationship between psychosocial distress and increased risk of stroke mortality and incident stroke in over six years of follow-up,” the authors said. “Moreover, a clear dose–response pattern of associations was evident, with the most distressed participants experiencing more than a 2-fold increased risk of stroke mortality and a 31% increased risk of incident stroke, compared with their least-distressed peers….”

For more information about a link between psychiatric illness and cardiovascular disease, see Psychiatric News here and here 


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