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Does Depression Increase Stroke Risk?

Posted Sep 26 2008 5:16pm

The August 2008 issue of Biological Psychiatry presents a study designed to assess the relationship between developing stroke and severe depression in young adults. The study involved a clinical sample of 827 patients ranging from 18 to 44 who had been hospitalized for depressive disorders.  A control sample of 4,135 non-psychiatric patients were used. The control subjects were matched to the clinical sample in terms of age, gender and date of discharge. The researchers followed up subjects in both groups for a five year period following their discharge in 1998. Survival analysis techniques were used to compare stroke survival rates adjusted for potential confounding factors. The results indicated that 50 depressed patients (6.05% of the study cohort) and 48 non-depressed subjects (1.16% of the comparison cohort) developed strokes. The adjusted hazard of stroke was 5.43 times greater for depressed patients than for non-depressed subjects. The researchers concluded that young patients ages 18 to approximately 44 who were hospitalized for depressive disorders were at over five times greater risk of developing stroke within 5 years of discharge compared with non-depressed age- and gender-matched subjects.

Click here for the abstract.

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