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The effects of depression on risks of stroke in young women

June 10, 2013

In a statement on its journal Stroke, the American Heart Association revealed that the costs of stroke treatment are likely to increase by 20% by 2013. This projection is a worrisome one, especially for the 45 to 64-year-old demographic, which is considered to be at highest risk of suffering from a stroke.



Among this demographic, those suffering from depression are known to have higher risks of stroke. Meanwhile, a new study now suggests that the association is even stronger in younger women.

A study conducted by Australian researchers tracked about 10,500 women with the average age of 52 and without a history of stroke. The women were surveyed every three years for 12 years, and it was found that about 24 percent were depressed at each survey.



The researchers found that depression almost doubled the risk for stroke, even when factors like age, education, blood pressure, heart disease, alcohol intake, physical activity, smoking, diabetes, and body mass index were accounted for. A previous study on the same subject found that the risk was increased by 30 percent, although the average age in the 2011 study was 14 years older. Additionally, there are studies that found no increased risk in people over 65.

The study is considered as merely an addition to the growing body of knowledge on the effect of depression on the risks of certain diseases on people. Larger studies are needed to determine whether depression truly does nearly double the risks in younger women.



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