Major depression in stroke patients. A 3-year longitudinal study.
This prospective study was designed to examine the contributions of neurobiological, functional, and psychosocial factors to major depression after stroke. In addition, the prevalence and longitudinal course of major depression were studied.
Major depression, functional ability, and social network were assessed repeatedly for a period of 3 years in a population-based cohort of 80 patients with acute stroke (mean age, 73 years). Cerebral atrophy and brain lesion parameters were determined from computed tomographic scans performed acutely and after 3 years.
The prevalence of major depression was 25% at the acute stage and approximately the same at 3 months (31%). It decreased to 16% at 12 months, was 19% at 2 years, and increased to 29% at 3 years. The most important predictors of immediate major depression were left anterior brain lesion, dysphasia, and living alone. Dependence in activities of daily living was the most important predictor at 3 months. From 12 months on, the patient's having few social contacts outside the immediate family contributed most to depression, and at 3 years cerebral atrophy also contributed. At 1 year, 60% of the patients with early depression (0 to 3 months) had recovered; those not recovered at this follow-up had a high risk of development of chronic depression.
The study has provided evidence of a differentiation of factors likely to be implicated in the development of depression after stroke based or the period of time since the stroke event.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association