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Post Stroke Depression Increases Risk of Death

The new findings highlight the huge impact depression has on people following a stroke and underlines how important it is to screen and treat depression following a stroke.

The new findings highlight the huge impact depression has on people following a stroke and underlines how important it is to screen and treat depression following a stroke.

January 14, 2013 – Researchers in a recent study have found that depression was associated with increased death in patients that have suffered a stroke. In an analysis, patients who had a history of both depression and stroke, had a significantly higher risk of both stroke-related and all cause deaths for over a 20 year follow up period as compared to patients who suffered neither of the conditions, according to a study performed by UCLA researchers.

The new findings highlight the huge impact depression has on people following a stroke and underlines how important it is to screen and treat depression following a stroke.

Researchers said the study included over 10,550 people who were between 25 and 74 years of age. Of these people, 73 suffered a stroke but no signs of depression, 48 suffered a stroke and were diagnosed with depression, 8,138 did not suffer a stroke or depression and 2,291 did not suffer a stroke, but did suffer from depression.

After taking into consideration factors like gender, age, race, income level, education and the person’s marital status, risk of dying for any reason was three time higher for individuals who had suffered a stroke and subsequent depression as compared to those who had suffered a stroke but not depression.

The risk of death from a stroke was over four times higher for those who suffered a stroke and depression compared to those people who did not suffer a stroke nor were they depressed.

Previous studies have indicated that depression was linked to a poorer quality of life, a higher risk of any cause mortality and worse function outcome, but no previous studies had specifically looked at mortality that was stroke related, said researchers.

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