Middle-aged women who suffer from depression are almost twice as likely to get a stroke. Australian scientists conducted a 12-year study in which more than 10,000 women, aged 47 to 52 years, took part.
Researchers have reported that a causal relationship between depression and stroke has not yet been established, however, it is possible that inflammatory and immunological reactions in depression can affect blood vessels.
The results of the study showed that with depression in women, the risk of stroke increases by 2.4 times, compared with a woman who did not have depression. Other factors leading to an increased risk of stroke were excluded.
Scientists wanted to draw the attention of women to the fact that serious mental health problems can affect their health in the future.
Australia completed the first full-scale study in which scientists examined the relationship between depression and stroke in young middle-aged women.
Scientists argue that, despite a significant increase in the risk of stroke associated with depression was, the absolute risk of stroke remained fairly low. About 1.5% of all women participating in the study suffered a stroke.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Caroline Jackson, said similar results could be expected among European and American women.
Scientists recommend treating depression in the early stages to avoid adverse effects in adulthood. People suffering from depression have an additional motivation to adhere to the right treatment and take better care of their health.