Depression and risk for stroke in younger women

Being depressed is known to increase the risk for stroke. Now a new study suggests that the association is even stronger in younger women.

Australian researchers studied 10,457 women, average age 52, without a history of stroke, surveying them every three years for 12 years. Using a well-validated depression scale, they found that about 24 percent were depressed at each survey. The study, published online this month in the journal Stroke, found 177 strokes over the study period.

Being depressed nearly doubled the risk for stroke, even after the researchers accounted for other risk factors like age, education, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity and body mass index.

A study published in 2011 on the same subject found an increased risk of only 30 percent, but the average age in the study was 14 years older, and at least one analysis found no increased risk at all in people over 65.

“The study adds to the evidence around depression and increased risk of stroke. And it’s possibly even stronger in younger women,” said the lead author, Caroline A. Jackson, an epidemiologist at the University of Queensland. “But it’s important to remember that this is a relatively small study, and it needs to be explored in a much larger population.”

Connie’s comments:
As I was driving my daugther Esther, 16 yr old, to school one early morning she was crying uncessantly because her dad had shouted and scolded her. So I explained to her to look at the positive things in life and to understand where some people are coming from. Talk about courage, fear, forgiveness and love. Take a deep breath Esther, I said. Yes, it is good to release any hurt feelings that you might have. Now believe that all is well soon.

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