According to a recently released study, depressed stroke survivors are three times more likely to die early and four times more likely to die from a stroke.
"Up to one in three people who have a stroke develop depression" said study author Dr. Amytis Towfighi. "This is something family members can help watch for that could potentially save their loved one."
Towfighi's study included 10,550 people aged 25 to 74 who were followed for 21 years. Of these, 73 people had a stroke, but did not develop depression; and, 48 had a stroke and did develop depression.
Other factors, such as age, gender, race, education, income level and marital status, were taken into account when the authors analyzed the data.
"Our research highlights the importance of screening for and treating depression in people who have experienced a stroke," said Towfighi. "Given how common depression is after stroke, and the potential consequences of having depression, looking for signs and symptoms and addressing them may be key."
The study is due to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego on March 16, 2013.