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 October 21, 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 October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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