Depression can strike at any age. Unfortunately, Medical News Today reports that middle-aged women going through such turmoil may have another problem on their hands: the risk of stroke.

A 12-year study by Dr. Caroline Jackson from the School of Population Health at University of Queensland in Australia examined 10,547 Australian women between 47 and 52 years old. Every three years, the participants were surveyed for their physical and mental health and were tested for depression.

The results showed that 24 percent of the participants were depressed, and that their risk for stroke was 2.4 times higher than those who were not.

While it is still unclear how depression is linked to the health risk, researchers believe that the body’s inflammatory and immunological response and impact on the blood vessels may have something to do with it. For now, it may be a good idea to count depression as a factor when checking for stroke risks.

(Photo by glendali via sxc.hu)

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