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ASA: Women at Greater Risk for Poststroke Depression

FRIDAY, March 19, 2021 -- Female stroke patients have a higher risk for poststroke depression (PSD) than male stroke patients, according to two studies presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, held virtually from March 17 to 19.

In the first study, led by Naomi Mayman, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, predictors of PSD were assessed using deidentified inpatient, outpatient, and subacute nursing Medicare data (2016 to 2017). Stroke patients (174,901) were nearly 50 percent more likely than patients with myocardial infarction (193,418) to develop depression during 1.5 years of follow-up. PSD was most strongly predicted by a history of anxiety, while discharge home was most protective. PSD was more common among female patients, White patients, and patients younger than 75 years.

In the second study, also led by Mayman, the analysis included deidentified data for U.S. Medicare beneficiaries 65 years and older admitted for ischemic stroke (July 1, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2017). The researchers found that female stroke patients (90,474) were 20 percent more likely to develop PSD than male patients (84,427) in adjusted models. Throughout the 1.5 years of follow-up, the cumulative risk for depression was consistently elevated for women, even in an adjusted analysis (hazard ratio, 1.20).

"Our current findings highlight the need for active screening and treatment for depression in the time period immediately and well after the stroke and the importance of screening all stroke patients for poststroke depression, including women and those with a history of mental illness," a coauthor said in a statement.

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