In a systematic review and a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies consisting 317,540 participants, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health studied the association between depression and risk of total and subtypes of stroke participants.1 Pooled analysis showed that depression was associated with:
- 45 percent increased risk for total stroke
- 55 percent increased risk for fatal stroke
- 25 percent increased risk for strokes resulting when the blood supply to a portion of brain has been interrupted or obstructed
It should be noted that depressed individuals often have difficulty incorporating good lifestyle practices. Depression increases the risk for undesirable clotting by increasing platelet stickiness. Unfortunately, it also substantially reduces blood flow to the front brain.
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- A. Pan, Q. Sun, O. I. Okereke, K. M. Rexrode, F. B. Hu. Depression and Risk of Stroke Morbidity and Mortality: A Meta-analysis and Systematic Review. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2011; 306 (11): 1241