Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Almost 8 percent of US stroke survivors may have suicidal thoughts

Date:
February 7, 2013
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Stroke survivors are more likely to report recent suicidal thoughts or wish they were dead compared with individuals with previous heart attack, diabetes or cancer. Seven variables were important in predicting whether a person with stroke had recent suicidal thoughts: depression score, age, BMI, education level, socioeconomic status, gender and marital status.

Nearly one in 12 American stroke survivors may have contemplated suicide or wished themselves dead, according to a study presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2013.

The proportion of stroke survivors who contemplated suicide was striking, compared with patients with other health conditions, said Amytis Towfighi, M.D., lead author of the study and an assistant professor of Clinical Neurology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and chair of the Department of Neurology at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.

In a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population, 7.8 percent of stroke survivors reported suicidal thoughts, compared to 6.2 percent of heart attack survivors, 5.2 percent of diabetes patients and 4.1 percent of cancer patients.

"Given the high prevalence of suicidal thoughts among stroke survivors, perhaps regular screening for suicidal ideation, in addition to depression, is warranted," Towfighi said.

About 7 million U.S. adults have a history of stroke, according to American Stroke Association statistics. About one third of stroke survivors develop depression, but there is little data on suicidal thoughts, Towfighi said.

Researchers investigated how many stroke survivors had recent suicidal thoughts, as well as the characteristics of these patients using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) conducted from 2005 to 2010. During that time, an estimated 6.2 million U.S. adults were stroke survivors.

NHANES is an ongoing series of elaborate, cross-sectional surveys providing a snapshot of Americans' health. This study focused on participants' responses to the following question: "Over the past two weeks, how often have you been bothered by thoughts that you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself in some way?"

Stroke survivors were more likely to have suicidal thoughts if they had a higher depression score, were younger, had higher body mass index, lower education level, lower poverty index, were single and were women.

Among the stroke survivors, 17 percent suffered from depression. Depression is the most common psychological complication after stroke. "Post-stroke depression can be associated with poorer functional outcomes, worse quality of life, higher mortality, low psychological well-being, suicidal ideation and suicide," Towfighi said.

The researchers haven't calculated what percentage of all NHANES participants, stroke survivors or not, might be suicidal. But Towfighi cited previous studies which found an annual suicide rate that was nearly double the expected figure for the population as a whole.

The cross-sectional design of the study didn't allow researchers to determine cause-and-effect relationships between stroke and suicidal thoughts. Additionally, the NHANES data didn't include information about how recently people's strokes had occurred, or whether the strokes were due to a ruptured blood vessel (hemorrhagic stroke) or a blocked blood vessel in the brain (ischemic stroke). The study also didn't account for patients' varying levels of disability.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Almost 8 percent of US stroke survivors may have suicidal thoughts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207131500.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2013, February 7). Almost 8 percent of US stroke survivors may have suicidal thoughts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207131500.htm
American Heart Association. "Almost 8 percent of US stroke survivors may have suicidal thoughts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207131500.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins