Adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder, a common mental health condition known as OCD, may have more than triple the risk of having a stroke, according to a new report from Taiwanese researchers.
As to why, the study authors aren’t sure.
The investigators speculate that other mental health problems suffered by OCD patients — “comorbidities” such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression — might add to their risk as might other health conditions, such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
“But OCD was an independent risk factor for ischemic stroke after adjustment for stroke-related comorbidities, including metabolic disorders and other severe mental diseases,” said study co-author Tai-Long Pan. He is a professor in the School of Traditional Chinese Medicine at Chang Gung University in Taoyuan.
“Clinicians should closely monitor cerebrovascular disease and related risks in patients with OCD,” he said.
The researchers stressed that this study doesn’t prove OCD causes strokes, only that there seems to be a connection.