Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Depression Seems to Intensify the Risk of Stroke in Elderly Patients

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Depression Seems to Intensify the Risk of Stroke in Elderly Patients

Article excerpt

DALLAS -- Depression boosted the risk for stroke in a study of more than 4,000 elderly people followed for 10 years.

People with the highest depression scores at baseline had twice the incidence of a cerebrovascular event or transient ischemic attack during follow-up, compared with people who had no depression, Dr. Abraham A. Ariyo reported at the annual scientific sessions of the American Heart Association.

This finding follows a prior analysis of the same group of people showing that depression boosted the risk for coronary artery disease, said Dr. Ariyo, director of HeartMasters in Dallas.

The Cardiovascular Health Study Collaborative Research Group enrolled 4,483 men and women aged 65 or older who were completely free of any clinical sign of cardiovascular disease at baseline. The study also excluded patients who were treated with an antidepressant. All participants were assessed for depression using a modified version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale.

Participants were categorized into quartiles based on their scores. Those with a score of zero had no depression. The next quartile included people with a score of 1-5, followed by quartiles with scores of 6-10, 11-15, and 16 and over. In 10.3 years of follow-up, 533 people had a stroke, and an additional 1,359 died.

In a multivariate analysis, the incidence of stroke was related to depression scores. Compared with people who had a score of zero, those with a score of 1-5 had 19% more strokes, those with a score of 6-10 had 57% more strokes, those with a score of 11-15 had 78% more strokes, and people with a score of 16-30 had twice as many strokes. …

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