Major Depressive Disorder and Stroke Risks: A 9-Year Follow-Up Population-Based, Matched Cohort Study 10/8/12

Background and Purpose

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by recurrent depressive episodes and one of the treatment choices is antidepressants. Patients with MDD are at greater risk of developing major metabolic diseases that may in turn lead to stroke. Moreover, both depressive symptoms and taking antidepressant medications are associated with higher risk of stroke. However, whether and how clinical depression increases stroke risk remains an unanswered question. Our aim was to provide answers to this question.


A matched cohort study of 5015 subjects (1003 MDD patients and 4012 control subjects) was conducted using a nationwide database. Subjects were followed to a maximum of 9 years to determine rates of newly-developed strokes, and controls and MDD groups with different levels of antidepressant refractoriness were compared to determine the temporal relation between stroke and three major metabolic comorbidities (i.e., diabetes mellitus, hypertension and hyperlipidemia). Read more