PhotoA new study shows that having a high risk of stroke may be both physiologically and psychologically dangerous to consumers. Researchers from Copenhagen University in Denmark found that the risk of developing depression was eight times higher in people who suffered a stroke when compared to those who hadn’t.

The onset of depressive symptoms may be delayed for up to two years, but many participants in the study developed the condition only three months after having a stroke. Those who have a prior history of depression need to be even more wary after suffering from such an incident.

“Depression is common in patients with stroke during the first year after diagnosis, and those with prior depression or severe stroke are especially at risk,” said the authors of the study.

Higher risk of depression and death

The researchers examined over 135,000 individuals from seven Danish nationwide registers who had suffered a stroke. They found that 25.4% of participants in the sample were diagnosed with depression within two years of their stroke incident. Of that number, one quarter of participants were diagnosed within the first three months.

After analyzing each participant, the researchers found several risk factors for depression among those who recently suffered from stroke. They included older age, female sex, living alone, basic education level, diabetes, history of depression, and stroke severity.

The researchers believe that it is critical for medical professionals to recognize the dangers of depression in order to prevent patient death; in keeping with other studies on depression, the researchers found that those who suffered fromt he condition had a higher risk of death from all causes.

“Because a large number of deaths can be attributable to depression after stroke, clinicians should be aware of the risk,” concluded the researchers.

The full study has been published in JAMA Psychiatry.

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