Depression Often Follows Stroke, and Women Are at Higher Risk

lonely personThe trauma and loss of stroke can often leave survivors with long-term depression, and women appear to be at special risk, new research shows.

“We did not expect that the cumulative risk of depression would remain so persistently elevated,” said study author Dr. Laura Stein, an assistant professor of neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, in New York City.

She said that, all too often, “post-stroke depression is not simply a transient consequence of difficulties adjusting to life after stroke.”

In the study, Stein’s team analyzed data from Medicare patients aged 65 and older who were hospitalized for either ischemic stroke (more than 174,000) or heart attack (more than 193,000) from July 2016 to Dec. 31, 2017. An ischemic stroke is the most common form of stroke and is caused by blocked blood flow to the brain.