Friday, August 12, 2011

Women With Depression at Greater Risk of Stroke

Suffering from depression or having so in the past may increase the likelihood of stroke for older women, according a new study in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke. Specifically, the researchers, led by An Pan, Ph.D. of Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition, found that women aged 54–79 who currently suffer from depression are 41 percent more likely to have a stroke than those without the illness, while women with a history of depression are 29 percent more likely than those without to experience a stroke sometime in the future.

The researchers also reported that women taking SSRIs for the treatment of  depression faced a 40 percent increase in the likelihood of suffering a stroke. For the study, Pan and his colleagues looked at data contained in health questionnaires completed by women in 2000 as part of the long-term, epidemiological Nurses’ Health Study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Read more about the connection between depression and stroke risk in Psychiatric News at Much more information about stroke can be found in The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Geriatric Neuropsychiatry, Third Edition. Ordering information is posted at

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