Depressed stroke survivors face triple death risk

Last Updated: Sun, Jan 13, 2013 09:50 hrs

Washington, Jan 13 (IANS) Stroke victims who are depressed are likely to face a triple risk of early death than people who have not experienced a stroke or depression, says a new study.

"Up to one in three people who have a stroke develop depression. This is something family members can help watch for that could potentially save their loved one," said study author Amytis Towfighi.

Towfighi is with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Centre in Los Angeles.

Towfighi noted that similar linkages have been found regarding depression and heart attack but less is known about the association between stroke, depression and death, said a university statement.

"Our research highlights the importance of screening for and treating depression in people who have experienced a stroke," said Towfighi.

"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."

The research covered 10,550 people between the ages of 25 and 74.

Of those, 73 had a stroke but did not develop depression, 48 had stroke and depression, 8,138 did not have a stroke or depression and 2,291 did not have a stroke but were depressed.

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