People who have symptoms of depression may face an increased risk of stroke, either ischemic or hemorrhagic, suggests a new international scientific study. They are also more likely to have a worse course one month after the stroke.

The researchers, according to Dr. Robert Murphy of Ireland’s University of Galway, who made the relevant publication in the journal “Neurology” of the American Academy of Neurology, studied data from 32 countries on 26,877 adults with an average age of 62 years. Of these, approximately 13,000 had suffered a stroke. At the same time, everyone’s mental state was assessed, in particular whether they had been depressed during the previous 12 months since the stroke.

The study, called INTERSTROKE, found that 18% of those who had had a stroke had previously experienced symptoms of depression, compared to a lower rate of 14% of those who had not had a stroke. It was estimated that those with previous depression were 46% more likely to have a stroke.

The more symptoms of depression someone had, the greater the risk of stroke. Those with three or four depressive symptoms had a 58% greater risk of stroke than those with no such symptoms, while those with one or two symptoms had a 35% greater risk.

“Our findings show that depressive symptoms can have an impact on mental health, but also increase the risk of stroke. The risk is similar regardless of age and country,” said Dr Murphy.