Eight-Year Depressive Symptom Trajectories and Incident Stroke: A 10-Year Follow-Up of the HRS (Health and Retirement Study).

TitleEight-Year Depressive Symptom Trajectories and Incident Stroke: A 10-Year Follow-Up of the HRS (Health and Retirement Study).
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsSoh, Y, Tiemeier, H, Kawachi, I, Berkman, LF, Kubzansky, LD
ISSN Number1524-4628
Keywordsdepression, Follow-Up Studies, Prospective Studies, Retirement, Risk Factors, Stroke

BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests a link between depressive symptoms and risk of subsequent stroke. However, most studies assess depressive symptoms at only one timepoint, with few examining this relationship using repeatedly measured depressive symptoms. This study aimed to examine the relationship between depressive symptom trajectories and risk of incident stroke.


p>METHODS: This prospective cohort included 12 520 US individuals aged ≥50 years enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study, free of stroke at study baseline (1998). We used the 8-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale to assess depressive symptoms (high defined as ≥3 symptoms; low <3 symptoms) at 4 consecutive, biennial timepoints from 1998 to 2004. We assigned individuals to 5 predefined trajectories based on their scores at each timepoint (consistently low, decreasing, fluctuating, increasing, and consistently high). Using self-reported doctors' diagnoses, we assessed incident stroke over a subsequent 10-year period from 2006 to 2016. Cox regression models estimated the association of depressive symptom trajectories with risk of incident stroke, adjusting for demographics, health behaviors, and health conditions.

RESULTS: During follow-up, 1434 incident strokes occurred. Compared with individuals with consistently low symptoms, individuals with consistently high depressive symptoms (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.18 [95% CI, 1.02-1.36]), increasing symptoms (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.31 [95% CI, 1.10-1.57]), and fluctuating symptoms (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.21 [95% CI, 1.01-1.46]) all had higher hazards of stroke onset. Individuals in the decreasing symptom trajectory group did not show increased stroke risk.

CONCLUSIONS: Depressive symptom trajectories characterized by high symptoms at multiple timepoints were associated with increased stroke risk. However, a trajectory with depressive symptoms that started high but decreased over time was not associated with higher stroke risk. Given the remitting-relapsing nature of depressive symptoms, it is important to understand the relationship between depressive symptoms and stroke risk over time through repeated assessments.

Citation Key12576
PubMed ID35603598