The researchers used data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health which involved more than 10,500 stroke free women between 47 and 52 years of age who were questioned every three years between 1998 and 2010. The researchers also assessed whether the participants were suffering from depression by using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale shortened version as well as asking whether they were taking antidepressants.
In total, around 177 women suffered from a first stroke during the follow up. The researchers found that those who suffered from depression were 2.4 times more likely to get a stroke compared to those who were not depressed, even if other risk factors were removed. The study has been published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
"Our findings contribute to the currently limited evidence on potential age differences in the association between depression and stroke, and suggest that the effect of depression may be even stronger in younger women. Further research investigating age differences within the same cohort is needed, since the identification of such differences will have important implications for policy and practice", the researchers wrote in their report.