Stroke Could Result From Chronic Depression

DEPIf your older loved one is among the millions of Americans who struggle with chronic depression, beware: They have an extremely high risk for stroke. And a new study from the American Heart Association says the risk seems to remain high even after the depression goes away.

“This study tells us that if you have a high depression screening score, you have more than a two-fold increase in risk of stroke,” said AHA spokesperson Dr. Philip Gorelick, medical director of Mercy Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “Furthermore, in the follow up period, if the depression symptoms resolve, you still have 66% risk of having a stroke.”

The study was conducted by a group of public health researchers at Harvard, University of California San Francisco, the University of Washington and University of Minnesota, who looked at data from over 16,000 people age 50 and older gathered over a dozen years for the Health and Retirement study. Every two years between 1998 and 2010, people were quizzed about their depressive symptoms, their stroke history and their behaviors that might put them at risk for stroke.

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