Depression Associated with Higher Stroke Risk

Researchers have found that depression is associated with a significantly higher risk of developing stroke and dying from it, according to an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

After analyzing close to 30 studies that involve more than 300,000 patients, researchers said that depression “was associated with a 45 percent increased risk for total stroke; a 55 percent increased risk for fatal stroke; and a 25 percent increased risk for ischemic stroke,” according to a news release from the American Medical Association.

About 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke every year. It is the third leading cause of death for Americans. A stroke occurs when a clot blocks the blood supply to part of the brain or when a blood vessel in or around the brain bursts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When part of the brain is cut off from the blood it needs, it begins to die.

Researchers could only speculate on how depression increases the risk of stroke. It could be caused by a variety of problems such as: obesity, diabetes, hypertension, using antidepressants or having poor health behaviors like smoking, lack of exercise and poor nutrition.

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