Depression can last up to a year after a stroke, study finds

Stroke survivors commonly experience depression in the early months of recovery, and it can persist for a full year, new research shows.

Researchers used an eight-item questionnaire to measure symptoms of depression at three, six and 12 months after a stroke. People were asked to rate various symptoms, including whether they had trouble falling asleep or were sleeping too much and whether they had low energy levels.

They analyzed questionnaire responses for 684 stroke survivors at three months, for 574 at six months and for 563 participants at 12 months.

Researchers classified 35 percent of stroke survivors as having depression three months into recovery. At the six-month mark, 25 percent were classified as having depression, and that number rose to 26 percent at the 12-month mark.

Researchers from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor will present their findings at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles, Feb. 19-21.

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