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Stroke and Depression: A Connection You Should Know About

By HERWriter Guide
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Stroke and Depression Connection You Should Know About Gino DeGraff/PhotoSpin

Depression affects far more than the mind — as if that alone wasn’t bad enough. Stress and depression has been linked to poor diet, poor sleep, a compromised immune system, heart disease and even cancer.

But there is also a link between stroke and depression. We need to have depression treated in its early stages because the connection is quite strong.

So what is a stroke exactly?

EmpowHER describes a stroke as "a brain injury. It occurs when the brain's blood supply is interrupted. Without oxygen and nutrients from blood, brain tissue dies quickly, in less than 10 minutes. This causes a sudden loss of function."

A stroke needs immediate attention. Read whyhere.

Recently, NPR reported on Epidemiologist Maria Glymour, who led a study on the stroke/depression connection when she was at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

She assumed that she and her colleagues would find that once someone’s depression had been eliminated, any increased risk they had for stroke would go back to normal levels.

However, this was not the case at all.

They found that even two years after depression ended, a person had a 66 percent higher risk of stroke than someone who never had depression at all, according to Gylmour.

Researchers studied more than 16,000 people over the age of fifty, over the course of a dozen years. They analyzed patient reports about their emotional health versus their physical health pertaining to strokes.

They found a correlation with those who reported poor emotional health/depression versus those who had strokes over those twelve years.

The results were that those with depression (even cured depression) were more than twice as likely as those without to get a stroke.

Time Magazine also wrote about this study. “People who had just begun developing depressive symptoms weren’t at higher stroke risk than those without symptoms," Glymor said in an email to Time.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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