The risk of suffering a stroke may increase with the feelings of being depressed, especially among older adults, revealed a recent study. The study comprised 1100 people residing in the New York City with no history of stroke. The mean age of the participants was 70. When the study commenced, the participants were asked to fill a survey that measured the depressive symptoms like feeling gloomy or feeling like each and every task was a chore. The participants were assigned a depression score ranging from 0 to 60, based on the survey and a score of above 16 was considered to point towards elevated depression.
For 14 years, the participants were tracked and it was discovered that around a 100 of them suffered a stroke. The risk of ischemic stroke (a stroke that develops when blood flow to a certain part of the brain is obstructed), the most common type of stroke, was found to be 75 percent more pronounced in people with the symptoms of depression than in those without the symptoms of depression. Additionally, it was found that nearly 11 percent of the study population with raised depression scores had a stroke, in comparison to the 7 percent with a low score or no depressive symptoms.
Early detection and treatment of depression is important
According to lead author Dr. Marialaura Simonetto, Department of Neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, the results of the study were preliminary, however, if they were confirmed through further studies, timely screening and management of depression would be critical. The study findings were stable despite of the fact that researchers controlled for other factors, like high blood pressure, diabetes, alcohol consumption, and smoking, that could affect people’s risk of stroke.
Nevertheless, it is important to understand that the authors found only an association and it has not been proved yet that the risk of stroke increases with depression. Moreover, the present study focusses on the risk of stroke in minority groups as 69 percent of the study population was Hispanic. More research is warranted to have a clearer understanding of the fact how depression influences the cardiovascular system and increases the risk of stroke and also how the findings would be fit for other ethnic groups or populations. The study findings are slated to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in May 2019, in Philadelphia and is yet to be published in a peer reviewed journal.
Depression in older adults
Though common in older adults, depression is not a part of aging. Studies have shown that older adults on the whole feel satisfied with their lives, however, important life changes may induce depression in them. These life changes could be the death of a loved one, moving from work life into retirement, or an onset of a major illness. After sometime, while some older adults may regain their emotional health, some may fail to do so and thus, develop depression. It is important to seek treatment for depression, as untreated depression may start affecting every area of one’s life and greatly reduce quality of life.
If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, the Medical Concierge Recovery can help. We offer evidence-based depression treatment programs comprising a combination of medicines, psychotherapies, and alternative therapies. For more information, call our 24/7 mental health treatment hotline (877) 636-0042. You can also chat online with a member of our admissions team to know more about our state-of-the-art depression treatment centers located in California. Our representatives can help find the best depression treatment program matching your requirements to ensure lasting recovery.