AAN: Mortality Up for Stroke Survivors With Depression

Increased risk of all-cause, stroke mortality for those with both versus neither condition

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with stroke and depression have a significantly higher risk of all-cause and stroke mortality, compared to those with neither condition, according to a study released in advance of its presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from March 16 to 23 in San Diego.

Amy Towfighi, M.D., from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues examined the correlation between depression and all-cause and stroke mortality among participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study. Hazard ratios for death were calculated for 73 participants with stroke and without depression; for 48 with stroke and with depression; for 8,138 without stroke and without depression; and for 2,291 without stroke and with depression.

The researchers found that the odds of all-cause mortality were significantly higher for individuals with stroke and depression (hazard ratio [HR], 4.23), compared to those with neither condition. The effect was attenuated after adjustment for sociodemographic variables (HR, 2.86). In both unadjusted and adjusted analyses, individuals with stroke and depression had a significantly higher risk of stroke mortality, compared to those with neither condition (HR, 4.06 and 3.69, respectively).

"Our research highlights the importance of screening for and treating depression in people who have experienced a stroke," Towfighi said in a statement. "Given how common depression is after stroke, and the potential consequences of having depression, looking for signs and symptoms and addressing them may be key."

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