Depression Following a Stroke Increases Death Risk

Researchers have determined that depression associated with a patient who has just suffered a stroke, increases the risk of that patient dying. Patients, whose history included a stroke and depression, were significantly at a higher risk of dying of all-cause or stroke related deaths, compared to individuals who did not suffer either a stroke or depression, over a period of 20 years of follow up in the recently completed study.

The new study highlights the amount of impact depression has on those who suffer a stroke and underlines the importance of screening individuals and treating them for depression if they have suffered a stroke.

Over 10,550 participants were in the study and all were aged 25 to 74. Of the total, 73 suffered from a stroke but did not have any signs of depression, another 48 suffered from a stroke and became depressed, 8,138 did not suffer from a stroke and were not depressed and 2,291 suffered from depression but did not suffer from a stroke.

The researchers, from the University of California at Los Angeles said the risk of dying due to a stroke was more than four times more for those who had suffered a previous stroke and depression when compared to the people who did not have a stroke and were not diagnosed with depression.

Studies that have been held previous to this one have showed that depression was tied to a poorer quality of life as well as a higher risk for any-cause mortality. However, the previous studies did not specifically look at the mortality that was related to strokes, said the UCLA researchers.

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