HealthDay (1/12, Norton) reported that Americans who “develop depression after surviving a stroke may die sooner than those without the mental health disorder,” according to study results that the American Academy of Neurology released in advance of annual meeting in March. The researchers “found that of more than 10,000 Americans followed for two decades, those who developed depression after suffering a stroke were about three times more likely to die of any cause during the study period, versus people without either condition.” The study team noted that previous research has shown a “similar link” among survivors of heart attacks who develop depression.
MedPage Today (1/13, Neale) noted that lead study author Amytis Towfighi, MD, of the University of Southern California, “pointed out that stroke rehabilitation guidelines from the Department of Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense include recommendations on screening for depression, but said that ‘there are no guidelines that I am aware of that emphasize outpatient screening for depression.'”
According to Medscape (1/12, Hughes), Dr. Towfighi emphasized that she and her colleagues think physicians should be required to routinely screen stroke survivors for depression.
— “Depressed Stroke Survivors May Face Higher Early Death Risk, “Amy Norton, HealthDay, January 14, 2013.