Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. suffer a stroke each year. Even when a stroke isn’t deadly, it inflicts considerable lasting damage. In the U.S., it’s the most common cause of severe, long-term disability. Yet, most stroke cases are preventable with effective medical management and lifestyle changes . As a leader in innovative stroke care, Regional Medical Center of San Jose embraces ongoing clinical research that contributes to better health for our community.
The possible link between depression and stroke
Emerging research suggests that depression is associated with an increased incidence of stroke. It’s too early to determine whether depression might contribute to causing stroke, or whether people with depression are simply more likely to also suffer from stroke. More research is needed in this area, but what is definitively known is that mental health can affect physical health, and vice versa.
The American Heart Association has reported that researchers in Australia evaluated 10,547 women ages 47 through 52 over a 12-year period. Their research suggests that women who are depressed are at an increased risk of stroke by a factor of 2.4.
The researchers then accounted for other factors that can contribute to stroke, such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes and lifestyle factors. Even with the adjusted figures, the researchers found that depressed women are still at an increased risk by a factor of 1.9. In other words, the suggestion is that depression might double a woman’s risk of stroke.
The ways you can lower your risk of stroke
Your cardiovascular health is just one more compelling reason to prioritize mental health. If you think you might be experiencing persistent depressive symptoms, your doctor can help. You deserve good quality of life.
Other ways you can reduce your risk of stroke include:
- Quit smoking, if applicable
- Avoid secondhand smoke
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Limit or abstain from alcohol
- Eat a nutritious diet with plenty of fiber
- Exercise on most days of the week
In addition to enjoying a healthy lifestyle, you can work with your doctor to get any chronic medical conditions under control. The following conditions can increase the risk of stroke:
- High blood pressure
- Sleep apnea
If you or someone else requires stroke care in San Jose, please call 911 without delay. Every second counts, and Comprehensive Stroke Center at Regional Medical Center of San Jose works closely with emergency responders to provide immediate care to our patients. General healthcare questions may be directed to a registered nurse at (888) 762-8881.