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Tuesday, September 13, 2011


USA Today (8/12, Manning) reports, "A study published Thursday in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association reports that women with a history of depression have a 29% greater risk of having a stroke than non-depressed women, and those who take antidepressants, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs...face a 39% higher risk."

According to the Huffington Post (8/12, Pearson), depression "can cause certain physiological and hormonal changes in the body that in turn increase stroke risk." John Lynch, of the NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, who was not associated with the study, explained, "Depression may be contributing to increased risk through a number of mechanisms, including brain hormone pathways, or an increased prevalence of poor health behaviors or medical disorders associated with stroke in depressed individuals."

HealthDay (8/11, Mann) reported that after following "80,574 women aged 54 to 79 who took part in the Nurses' Health Study from 2000 to 2006 and had no prior history of stroke," researchers also found that "depressed women were more likely to be single, smoke and be less physically active than their non-depressed counterparts." In addition, the depressed women were "slightly younger, had a higher body mass index and more coexisting conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes."

WebMD (8/11, Doheny) reported that the "use of antidepressants is not thought to be linked with stroke risk." Study author An Pan, PhD, a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, explained that the "'medication use could be a marker for depression severity.' The most depressed were probably most likely to be on the medicine." MedPage Today (8/12, Walsh) and Medscape (8/12, Lowry) also cover the story.


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