By On March 5th, 2008

Stress is linked with stroke

According to recent findings published in the March 4 issue of Neurology, stress is linked with stroke. However, the study did not find a connection between depression and stroke. The study found that psychological distress is associated with both fatal and nonfatal strokes. According to Paul Surtees, Ph.D., of the University of Cambridge, for every one unit of standard deviation on a psychological distress scale, stroke risk increased by 11%. The study utilized 20,627 participants that had not had strokes between the ages of 41 and 80. The following is an excerpt of an article from Medpage Today that reveals more:

In a study of 20,627 stroke-free participants, ages 41 to 80, the investigators completed baseline assessments of major depressive disorder (defined by DSM-IV) and of “mental health well being” (defined by the Mental Health Inventory, MHI-5). The participants were enrolled in the EPIC-Norfolk population-based, prospective, cohort cancer study.

The participants filled out the Health and Life Experiences Questionnaire (HLEQ), an assessment that included criteria for major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

The HLEQ also included a five-item version of the Mental Health Inventory (MH-5), a score that included major psychological distress.

During 8.5 years of follow-up, 595 incident strokes were recorded and 28% were fatal.

After adjustment for age, sex, smoking, and a long list of confounders, major depressive disorder within the previous 12 months for 1,083 individuals (5.3%) did not increase the stroke risk (HR 1.08, 95% CI 0.67 to 1.75).

Nor did lifetime major depression in 3,184 individuals (15.4%). The HR was 1.13 (95% CI 0.85 to 1.50), the researchers reported.

However, changes in MH1-5 scores evaluating psychological distress did have a relationship to stroke risk.

Mean score was 76.9 (SD 16.4) with slightly lower scores for women than for men.

Click here for the rest of this article from Medpage Today

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