Smiling More: A Simple Way to Lower Your Stroke Risk
The study found that depression can significantly increase the risk of stroke.
A collaborative team of researchers from the US and Europe found that people with mental disorders are 46% more likely to experience a potentially fatal neurological event. And people with more severe depressive symptoms are more likely to have a stroke. Among 26,877 study participants, those with at least five symptoms had a 56% increased risk of infection.
Depression is known to cause damage to a person’s blood platelets, which are responsible for preventing blood clotting. Many strokes are caused by blood clotting, which prevents vital blood from reaching the brain.
“Depression affects people all over the world and can have a wide variety of effects on a person’s life,” Dr. Robert Murphy, lead author at the University of Galway in Ireland, said in a statement.
Depression has long been linked to stroke, and many experts point out how a mental health condition affects blood flow in the body.
Previous research has linked depression to low platelets, which increases the risk of a fatal blood clot.
The research team, whose results were published on Wednesday in the journal Neurology, assessed the degree of risk.
“In this study, we gained a deeper understanding of how depressive symptoms can contribute to stroke,” said Dr. Murphy. Our results show that symptoms of depression can affect mental health but also increase the risk of stroke.
The scientists collected data from INTERSTROKE, a global stroke incidence tracker, from 32 countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Of the people from whom the data was collected, half had a stroke and the other half did not.
Participants were asked about pre-existing medical conditions such as heart, brain and mental health issues.
In the study population, 18% of people who had a stroke reported symptoms of depression, compared to 14% of people who did not have a stroke.
After adjusting for other risk factors, the researchers found a 46 percent increase in the risk of stroke among people with depression.
Murphy said: “Our study provides a big picture of depression and its association with stroke risk by looking at a number of factors, including participants’ symptoms, lifestyle and antidepressant use. Our results suggest that symptoms of depression are associated with an increased risk of stroke.” The risk was the same for everyone: “Age groups and all over the world. People with five or more depressive symptoms are at increased risk. They are 56% more likely to have a stroke than their peers.”
Source: Daily Mail
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