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Depression Significantly Ups Stroke Morbidity, Mortality

Association between depression and total stroke consistently raised across most subgroups

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Depression is linked to a significantly increased risk of stroke morbidity and mortality, according to a review published in the Sept. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

An Pan, Ph.D., from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues reviewed the available literature with risk estimates of stroke morbidity or mortality by baseline or updated depression status to evaluate the association between depression and risk of developing stroke in adults. Depression status at baseline, risk estimates of stroke, study quality, and methods used to assess depression and stroke were evaluated by two independent reviewers and hazard ratios (HRs) were pooled when appropriate. Publication bias was assessed and correlations were analyzed in subgroups representing the diverse study and participant characteristics.

The investigators identified 28 studies with 317,540 participants and 8,478 stroke cases (morbidity and mortality) for patients followed during a span of two to 29 years. The pooled adjusted HR for total stroke was 1.45; for fatal stroke, 1.55 (eight studies); and for ischemic stroke, 1.25 (six studies). The approximated absolute risk differences correlated with depression per 100,000 individuals per year were 106 cases for total stroke, 53 cases for ischemic stroke, and 22 cases for fatal stroke. There was a consistently increased risk of total stroke correlated with depression noted across most subgroups.

"Depression is associated with a significantly increased risk of stroke morbidity and mortality," the authors write.

One of the study authors disclosed a financial relationship with Merck.

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