Stroke linked to higher risk for depression and other mood problems

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Scientists from Aarhus University found stroke survivors may have a higher risk of developing depression or another mood disorder within the first year.

The research is published in Stroke and was conducted by Nils Skajaa et al.

Past research shows depression is common after stroke, affecting nearly one-third of survivors. For the new study, researchers wanted to dig deeper and see how stroke impacts other mental disorders.

In the study, the team examined 86,111 people in Danish hospitals from 2004 to 2018 with no history of mental health disorders who had a stroke.

They found that stroke survivors had a 15% risk of developing a mood disorder, primarily depression, within the first year.

This risk corresponded to approximately 2.3 times increased risk compared with matched individuals from the Danish general population.

The team found stroke survivors also had an increased risk for other mental health problems, including substance abuse disorders and stress and anxiety disorders, as well as brain disorders such as dementia.

The study also showed stroke survivors’ chances of developing depression are nearly 70% higher than people who survive a heart attack.

A U.S. study published last year in the journal Neurology came to a similar conclusion: Stroke patients were 50% more likely than heart attack patients to develop depression.

The team called for future research to uncover the biological and psychosocial factors that might contribute to post-stroke depression.

They also would like to see studies on the best methods of treating post-stroke depression—not just with medication, but with counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise and other lifestyle interventions.

Stein pointed out that while post-stroke depression is most common in the first year after a stroke, patients are still at risk for a long time after that.

If you care about stroke, please read studies about what to eat for stroke prevention, and small surgery can prevent strokes in people with heart issues.

For more information about stroke, please see recent studies about drug combo that can cut risk of stroke and heart attack by half, and results showing drinking coffee this way may prevent heart disease, stroke.

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