Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Depressive Symptoms Linked to Stroke in the Elderly

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Depressive Symptoms Linked to Stroke in the Elderly

Article excerpt

NETHERLANDS -- Depression appears to be a risk factor for stroke, according to previous studies. Nevertheless, the reliability of much research is limited by the lack of documentation on the presence of pre-existent cardiovascular disease (CVD) and by the use of limited measures of depression or stroke. The literature is inconclusive about whether baseline depressive symptoms predict, cerebrovascular events in older age.

Findings from one study indicated a positive association between the presence of depression and the risk of stroke in adults of all ages. The study also indicated the greater the depression, the greater the risk of stroke; this effect was most marked among African-American groups. The exact mechanism of how depressive symptoms predispose patients to stroke is not clear, but depression does affect the autonomic nervous system and platelet activation.

Researchers from Amsterdam tested the ideas that depressive symptoms are an independent risk factor of stroke in cardiac and noncardiac patients and that more chronic, severe depressive symptoms are associated with stroke. A cohort of about 3,000 elderly Dutch people was observed for nine years in the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam. The average age of the sample was 70. …

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