Individuals with a history of depressive symptoms have a higher risk for stroke than those with no depression history, new research suggests.
The findings were published online March 8 in Neurology.
For the analysis, investigators collected data on 26,877 cases and controls across 32 countries who participated in INTERSTROKE, an international case-control study of risk factors for a first acute stroke. Participants were recruited between 2007 and 2015 and completed a series of questionnaires about stroke risk factors, including measures of depressive symptoms experienced in the past 12 months.
In multivariable analyses pre-stroke depressive symptoms were associated with greater odds of acute stroke (OR 1.46, 95%CI 1.34–1.58), which was significant for both intracerebral hemorrhage (OR 1.56, 95%CI 1.28–1.91) and ischemic stroke (OR 1.44, 95%CI 1.31–1.58). While pre-admission depressive symptoms were not associated with a greater odds of worse baseline stroke severity (OR 1.02, 95%CI 0.94–1.10), they were associated with a greater odds of poor functional outcome at 1-month after acute stroke (OR 1.09, 95%CI 1.01–1.19).
Stroke risk increased with increasing severity of depression, but even those with mild depression had a 35% increased risk (aOR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.19 - 1.53).
"Depression is an important risk factor for acute stroke and is potentially a modifiable contributor to the global burden of stroke," told lead investigator, Robert Murphy, MB, a researcher with the clinical research facility at the University of Galway, Ireland.