THURSDAY, July 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Stress, hostility and depression may increase the risk for stroke, a new study suggests.
The study found that depression seemed to raise the risk of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA) by 86 percent. It also found that stress apparently raised stroke or TIA risk by 59 percent. And hostility doubled the risk, the researchers said. A TIA is a mini-stroke caused by a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain.
However, it's important to note that the study only found an association between the risk of stroke and negative emotions. It wasn't designed to prove that negative emotions can cause strokes.
Still, "chronic stress and negative emotions are important psychological factors that affect one's health, and findings from this study link these factors to brain health in particular," said the study's lead author, Susan Everson-Rose, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota.
"Patients and their health care providers should be aware that experiences of chronic stress and negative emotional states can increase risk for stroke," she noted.
The findings were published online July 10 in the journal Stroke.
For the study, Everson-Rose and her colleagues collected data on nearly 7,000 adults, aged 45 to 84, who took part in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. The study included people from six different sites in the United States.
Participants filled out questionnaires asking about chronic stress, depressive symptoms, anger and hostility. None of the patients had heart disease or a history of stroke at the beginning of the study.
After an average follow-up of about 8.5 years, just under 3 percent of the original group had suffered ei
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