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Stroke. 2011 Oct;42(10):2770-5. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.111.617043. Epub 2011 Aug 11.

Depression and incident stroke in women.

Author information

  • 1Department of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, and Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Depression has been associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, but prospective data for the association with stroke are limited.

METHODS:

We followed-up 80 574 women aged 54 to 79 years in Nurses' Health Study without a history of stroke from 2000 to 2006. Depressive symptoms were assessed at multiple time points by a Mental Health Index score (1992, 1996, and 2000), and clinical significant depressive symptoms were defined as a score≤52. Antidepressant medication use was asked biennially beginning in 1996, and physician-diagnosed depression was reported biennially beginning in 2000. Depression was defined as currently reporting or having a history of any of these 3 conditions.

RESULTS:

During 6 years of follow-up, 1033 incident strokes were documented (538 ischemic, 124 hemorrhagic, and 371 unknown strokes). Having a history of depression was associated with a multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 1.29 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13-1.48) for total stroke. Women who used antidepressant medications were at increased risk for stroke, whether they also had a Mental Health Index score≤52 or diagnosed depression (HR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.15-1.69) or not (HR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.03-1.67). Furthermore, for each cycle, participants who reported current depression had an increased risk of stroke (HR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.18-1.67), whereas individuals who only had a history of depression were at nonsignificantly elevated risk (HR, 1.23; 95% CI, 0.97-1.56) compared with women who never reported a diagnosis of depression or antidepressant medication use.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results suggest that depression is associated with a moderately increased risk of subsequent stroke.

Comment in

PMID:
21836097
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3183155
Free PMC Article
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