People with symptoms of depression could face the risk of a stroke or mini stroke, says a new study. But the risk was not found among individuals older than 65.
Margaret Kelly-Hayes and her associates at Boston University studied 4,120 people for up to eight years. At the start, scores on a standard depression scale called the CES-D averaged six, reported Independent online.
However, nearly 11 percent scored 16 or greater, indicating the presence of depressive symptoms.
A total of 144 strokes and 84 mini-strokes occurred during follow-up, the team reported in the medical journal Stroke.
Among the subjects younger than 65 years, those with a CES-D score of 16 or higher were over four times more likely to have a stroke or mini stroke than those with lower depression scores.
The risk remained elevated even after factoring in other risk factors for stroke such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and educational levels.
In contrast, the stroke risk was unrelated to depressive symptoms among subjects older than 65 years of age, the researchers said.
Depression is a state of intense sadness, or despair that has advanced to the point of being disruptive to an individual's social functioning and activities of daily living. It affects about 16 percent of the people on at least one occasion in their lives.