Women in their 40s and 50s who suffer from depression are almost twice as likely to have a stroke as women who aren't depressed, according to a large, long-running Australian study.
"Although the absolute risk of stroke is low in mid-aged women, depression does appear to have a large adverse effect on stroke risk in this age group," said lead researcher Caroline Jackson, an epidemiologist in the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland.
Depression may be a stronger risk factor
"This large study among Australian women adds further evidence supporting the association between depression and stroke risk," said Dr Ralph Sacco, chairman of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
After eliminating some of the other factors that increase the risk of stroke, depressed women still were 1.9 times more likely to have a stroke, compared to women who were not depressed, they found.