Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Depression linked to almost doubled stroke risk in middle-aged women

Date:
May 16, 2013
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Depression among women 47-52 years old is associated with an almost doubled risk of stroke. Researchers call for greater awareness of depression as a preventable risk factor for stroke among younger middle-aged women.

Depressed middle-aged women have almost double the risk of having a stroke.
Credit: Copyright American Heart Association

Depressed middle-aged women have almost double the risk of having a stroke, according to research published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Related Articles


In a 12-year Australian study of 10,547 women 47-52 years old, researchers found that depressed women had a 2.4 times increased risk of stroke compared to those who weren't depressed. Even after researchers eliminated several factors that increase stroke risks, depressed women were still 1.9 times more likely to have a stroke.

"When treating women, doctors need to recognize the serious nature of poor mental health and what effects it can have in the long term," said Caroline Jackson, Ph.D., study author and an epidemiologist in the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland in Australia. "Current guidelines for stroke prevention tend to overlook the potential role of depression."

This is the first large-scale study in which researchers examined the association between depression and stroke in younger middle-aged women. The closest comparison is with the U.S.-based Nurses' Health Study, which found a 30 percent higher risk of stroke among depressed women. However, the average participant's age in the Nurses' study was 14 years older.

Jackson and her colleagues analyzed survey results from the nationally representative Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Participants answered questions about their mental and physical health and other personal details every three years in 1998-2010.

About 24 percent of participants reported being depressed, based on their responses to a standardized depression scale and their recent use of anti-depressants. Self-reported responses and death records revealed 177 first-time strokes occurred during the study.

The researchers used statistical software and repeated measures at each survey point to analyze the relationship between being depressed and having a stroke.

To distinguish the independent effects of depression, they factored out various characteristics that can affect stroke risks, including: age; socioeconomic status; lifestyle habits such as smoking, alcohol and physical activity; and physiological conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, being overweight and diabetes.

Although the increased stroke risk associated with depression was large in the study, the absolute risk of stroke is still fairly low for this age group, Jackson said. About 2.1 percent of American women in their 40s and 50s suffer from stroke. In the study, only about 1.5 percent of all women had a stroke. That number increased to slightly more than 2 percent among women suffering from depression.

Similar results could be expected among American and European women, Jackson said.

"We may need more targeted approaches to prevent and treat depression among younger women, because it could have a much stronger impact on stroke for them now rather than later in life," she said.

It's still unclear why depression may be strongly linked to stroke in this age group. The body's inflammatory and immunological processes and their effects on our blood vessels may be part of the reasons, she said.

The study's co-author is Gita Mishra, Ph.D.The American Stroke Association encourages everyone to learn how to recognize a stroke and to act fast during a stroke emergency. When people recognize a stroke and act fast by calling 9-1-1, they have a greater chance of improving the outcome. Remember F.A.S.T. and the symptoms that come on suddenly:

  • F -- Face drooping
  • A -- Arm weakness
  • S -Speech difficulty
  • T -- Time to call 9-1-1

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. "Depression linked to almost doubled stroke risk in middle-aged women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516161653.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2013, May 16). Depression linked to almost doubled stroke risk in middle-aged women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516161653.htm
American Heart Association. "Depression linked to almost doubled stroke risk in middle-aged women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516161653.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) After her son, Dax, died from a rare form of leukemia, Julie Locke decided to give back to the doctors at St. Jude Children&apos;s Research Hospital who tried to save his life. She raised $1.6M to help other patients and their families. (March 3) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) Thick black puddles and a looted, leaking ruin are all that remain of the Thar Jath oil treatment facility, once a crucial part of South Sudan&apos;s mainstay industry. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Woman Convicted of Poisoning Son

Woman Convicted of Poisoning Son

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) A woman who blogged for years about her son&apos;s constant health woes was convicted Monday of poisoning him to death by force-feeding heavy concentrations of sodium through his stomach tube. (March 3) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treadmill Test Can Predict Chance Of Death Within A Decade

Treadmill Test Can Predict Chance Of Death Within A Decade

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Johns Hopkins researchers analyzed 58,000 heart stress tests to come up with a formula that predicts a person&apos;s chances of dying in the next decade. 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