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Depressive Symptoms Linked to Risk for Acute Stroke

WEDNESDAY, March 8, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Depressive symptoms are associated with an increased risk for acute stroke, according to a study published online March 8 in Neurology.

Robert P. Murphy, M.B.B.S., from the HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway in Ireland, and colleagues explored the contribution of depressive symptoms to acute stroke risk and one-month outcomes in an international case-control study of risk factors for first acute stroke conducted in 32 countries. Data were included for 26,877 participants (40.4 percent women).

The researchers found that the prevalence of depressive symptoms within the past 12 months was higher in cases than controls (18.3 versus 14.1 percent) and varied by region, with the lowest and highest prevalence seen in China and South America (6.9 and 32.2 percent of controls, respectively). Prestroke depressive symptoms were associated with increased odds of acute stroke (odds ratio, 1.46), which was significant for intracerebral hemorrhage and ischemic stroke (odds ratios, 1.56 and 1.44, respectively). Patients with a greater burden of depressive symptoms had a larger magnitude of association. Preadmission depression symptoms were not associated with worse baseline stroke severity, but were associated with increased odds of poor functional outcome one month after acute stroke (odds ratio, 1.09).

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“Our results show that symptoms of depression can have an impact on mental health, but also increase the risk of stroke,” Murphy said in a statement. “Physicians should be looking for these symptoms of depression and can use this information to help guide health initiatives focused on stroke prevention.”

The study was partially funded by pharmaceutical companies.

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