A newly published study has found a link between stroke risk and depressive symptoms by using the Stream Call Depression Self-Assessment Scale (CES-D-4),media reported. The findings may suggest that depressive symptoms are an unsysothical stroke risk factor, as are well-known risk factors such as heart disease and high blood pressure, the researchers said.
The study, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, was recently published in Neurology: Clinical Practice. The researchers used data from 14,516 white participants and 9,529 black participants who were at least 45 years old and had no stroke problems at the start of the study.
Participants participated in the REGARDS National Longitudinal Study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which looked at which risk factors for deaths such as stroke and stroke may be related to regional and racial differences.
Using the CES-D-4 test, participants were assessed for depressive symptoms at the start of the study, especially feelings of frequent crying, sadness, loneliness, and depression.
During an average of nine years of follow-up, the study found that 1,262 of the participants had a stroke. Using the CES-D-4 score benchmark, the researchers found that participants who had a stroke during follow-up had a 39 percent higher risk of stroke than those who did not have any depressive symptoms.
In four tests, participants with CES-D-4 scores from 1 to 3 increased their risk by 39%. According to the study, participants who scored more than 4 points had a 54 percent increased risk after demographic adjustments.
However, the study did not find that different races had different effects on these participants, underscoring the need for more research to explore why black people show a greater risk of stroke. Cassandra Ford, lead author of the study, said: “Traditional risk factors do not explain all the differences in stroke risk between races. In a handful of studies that recruited black participants and examined racial and depressive symptoms associated with stroke, the results were mixed. In black patients, depression is often undetected and diagnosed, and they are often less likely to receive effective care and management.
These findings suggest that further research is needed to explore the unconventional risk factors for stroke. Our findings underscore the importance of assessing this risk factor in both populations. “
Ultimately, the study suggests that depressive symptoms may be an “un traditional” stroke risk factor rather than a defined health risk. Of course, this does not mean that depressive symptoms can lead to a stroke or that every depressed person will have a stroke. Instead, these symptoms can help doctors assess the overall risk of stroke and many other risk factors such as unhealthy lifestyles and existing health conditions.