A novel US study suggests that women suffering depression may also be at increased risk of having stroke. Women with history of depression had thirty percent raised risk of stroke. Doctors should make aware people with depression to never neglect their general health.
A team led by Dr Kathryn Rexrode an associate physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, analyzed a study statists of more than eighty thousand women aged fifty-five to eighty, those took part in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study. The researchers looked at statistics from 2000 to 2006.
None of the study participants had a stroke prior to start of the study, while twenty-two percent had been diagnosed with depression. In comparison to women without history of depression, depressed women were more prone to be smokers, single and few physical activities. Moreover, they were also somewhat younger, having higher BMI and conditions like heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
During the course of study more than one thousand women had a stroke plus the raised risk for those who had been diagnosed with depression at any point in their life. It was also revealed that women using anti-depressant particularly SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), two years prior to the study were at forty percent higher risk.
This study does not suggest that people should stop their medications to diminish the risk of stroke. Depression can prevent individuals from controlling other medical problems such as diabetes and hypertension, from taking medications regularly or pursuing other healthy lifestyle measures such as exercise stated Dr Rexrode.
According to study researcher Dr An Pan from the Harvard School of Public Health, depression may also be associated with inflammation in the body that raised the risk of stroke and other underlying vascular diseases in the brain. Regardless of the mechanism, recognizing that depressed individuals may be at a higher risk.
It may help the physician to concentrate on not only treating the depression, but treating stroke risk aspects like high blood pressure, diabetes and increased cholesterol levels plus addressing lifestyle behaviors such as smoking and exercise, added Dr Pan. The study was published the journal Stroke, a Journal of the American Heart Association.
It is very hard to resolve if there is a direct link between depression and stroke risk and a lot more study is required in this area before depression alone can be viewed as a stroke risk factor. Anyone taking antidepressants should continue doing so, explained Dr Peter Coleman, deputy director of research at the UK’s Stroke Association.