As the largest resource of information specific to women's brain health, we are sure you will find what you are looking for, and promise that you will discover new information.
Published on: August 31, 2011
by Sane News:
Women struggling with depression are at higher risk of stroke, according to a study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
For the study, researchers looked at 80,574 women from the 2000 to 2006 Nurses’ Health Study. At the time, study participants, ages 54 to 79, had no history of stroke, and 22 percent had been diagnosed with depression, which is a common mental health disorder. Most were white registered nurses.
During the six-year study, researchers found that participants with a history of depression were 29 percent more likely to have a stroke. What’s more, this increased to 39 percent among those who took antidepressants.
On average, depressed women in the study were more likely to be single, sedentary and smokers. These nurses were also more likely to suffer from heart problems, high blood pressure and diabetes than their non-depressed counterparts. In addition, the women had higher body mass index (height to weight ratio)—indicating they were more likely to be overweight.
“Depression can prevent individuals from controlling other medical problems such as diabetes and hypertension, from taking medications regularly or pursuing other healthy lifestyle measures such as exercise,” said Kathryn Rexrode, MD, a Harvard School of Public Health assistant professor of medicine and the senior study author. “All these factors could contribute to increased risk.”
Rexrode added that antidepressant use in the study appeared to be an indicator of more severe depression—thus linked with higher stroke risk—rather than the cause of stroke. “This study does not suggest that people should stop their medications to reduce the risk of stroke,” Rexrode cautioned.
The importance of these findings were summed up by An Pan, PhD, a Harvard School of Public Health research scientist, and the study’s lead author.
“Regardless of the mechanism, recognizing that depressed individuals may be at a higher risk of stroke may help the physician focus on not only treating the depression, but treating stroke risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes and elevated cholesterol as well as addressing lifestyle behaviors such as smoking and exercise,” Pan said.
It is a devastating omission that may have undercut years of work by brilliant researchers from around the world. Millions of dollars and countless hours have been spent investigating dementia. But in the view of...
A stroll through the Dutch community of De Hogeweyk is a journey to what could be the future of dementia care. Located within the small town of Weesp, just outside of Amsterdam, De Hogeweyk is...
Intimate-partner violence (IPV) is a pattern of physical and/or sexual violence inflicted by an intimate or ex-intimate partner. Global estimates published by the World Health Organization indicate that about 1 in 3 women have experienced...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.