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Stroke. 2001 Apr;32(4):903-8.

Prospective study of depressive symptoms and risk of stroke among japanese.

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  • 1Institute of Community Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Japan.



We sought to examine the relationship between depressive symptoms and the incidence of stroke among Japanese men and women.


A 10.3-year prospective study on the relationship between depressive symptoms and the incidence of stroke was conducted with 901 men and women aged 40 to 78 years in a rural Japanese community. Depressive symptoms were measured at baseline with the use of the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS). The incidence of stroke was ascertained under systematic surveillance.


During the 10-year follow-up, 69 strokes (39 ischemic strokes, 10 intracerebral hemorrhages, 10 subarachnoid hemorrhages, and 10 unclassified strokes) occurred. Age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of mild depression (SDS scores >/=40) at baseline was 25% among subjects with incident stroke and 12% among subjects without stroke (P<0.01). Persons with SDS scores in the high tertile had twice the age- and sex-adjusted relative risk of total stroke as those with scores in the low tertile. The excess risk was confined to ischemic stroke. After we adjusted for body mass index, systolic blood pressure level, serum total cholesterol level, cigarette smoking, current treatment with antihypertensive medication, and history of diabetes mellitus, these relative risks remained statistically significant for total stroke (1.9; 95% CI, 1.1 to 3.5) and ischemic stroke (2.7; 95% CI, 1.2 to 6.0).


Depressive symptoms predict the risk of stroke, specifically ischemic stroke among Japanese.

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