Depressive symptoms predict incident stroke independently of memory impairments.

TitleDepressive symptoms predict incident stroke independently of memory impairments.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsM. Glymour, M, Maselko, J, Gilman, SE, Patton, KK, Avendano, M
Date Published2010 Dec 07
ISSN Number1526-632X
KeywordsAged, Aged, 80 and over, depression, Female, Health Surveys, Humans, Incidence, Kaplan-Meier Estimate, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Memory Disorders, Middle Aged, Neuropsychological tests, Predictive Value of Tests, Risk Factors, Statistics, Nonparametric, Stroke, United States

BACKGROUND: We evaluated whether depressive symptoms predict the onset of first stroke independently of memory impairment. We conceptualized memory impairment as a marker of preexisting cerebrovascular disease. We hypothesized that if depressive symptoms are causally related to stroke through mechanisms unrelated to cerebrovascular disease, depressive symptoms should predict stroke independently of memory impairment.

METHODS: Incidence of first stroke was assessed with self or proxy reports from 19,087 participants in the Health and Retirement Study cohort (1,864 events). Elevated depressive symptoms (3+ on an 8-item Centers for the Epidemiologic Study of Depression scale) and memory impairment (score of ≤6 on a combined immediate and delayed recall of a 10-word list) were used as predictors of incident stroke in Cox survival models with adjustment for sociodemographic and cardiovascular risk factors.

RESULTS: After adjustment for sociodemographic and cardiovascular risk factors, elevated depressive symptoms (hazard ratio = 1.25; 95% confidence interval 1.12-1.39) and memory impairment (hazard ratio = 1.26; 95% confidence interval 1.13-1.41) each predicted stroke incidence in separate models. Hazard ratios were nearly unchanged and remained significant (1.23 for elevated depressive symptoms and 1.25 for memory impairment) when models were simultaneously adjusted for both elevated depressive symptoms and memory impairment. Elevated depressive symptoms also predicted stroke when restricting analyses to individuals with median memory score or better.

CONCLUSIONS: Memory impairments and depressive symptoms independently predict stroke incidence. Memory impairment may reflect undiagnosed cerebrovascular disease. These results suggest that depressive symptoms might be directly related to stroke rather than merely indicating preexisting cerebrovascular disease.


Glymour, M M Maselko, J Gilman, S E Patton, K K Avendano, M 1R01MH087544/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States 1R21 AG34385-01A1/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States 1R21AG037889-01/AG/NIA NIH HHS/United States 1R21HD066312-01/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/United States 1RC4MH092707-01/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States 5R03MH083335/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't United States Neurology Neurology. 2010 Dec 7;75(23):2063-70.

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

Aged, 80 and over/Depression/ etiology/Depression/ etiology/Female/Health Surveys/Humans/Incidence/Kaplan-Meier Estimate/Kaplan-Meier Estimate/Longitudinal Studies/Memory Disorders/complications/ epidemiology/Memory Disorders/complications/ epidemiology/Middle Aged/Neuropsychological Tests/Predictive Value of Tests/Predictive Value of Tests/Risk Factors/Statistics, Nonparametric/Statistics, Nonparametric/Stroke/ complications/ epidemiology/Stroke/ complications/ epidemiology/United States/epidemiology/United States/epidemiology

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalNeurology
Citation Key7541
PubMed ID21135381
PubMed Central IDPMC2995534
Grant List1RC4MH092707-01 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
1R21AG037889-01 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
1R01MH087544 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
1R21 AG34385-01A1 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
5R03MH083335 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
1R21HD066312-01 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States