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Sixty surviving patients from a community-based stroke register who had computerised tomography (CT) scan evidence of a single brain lesion were interviewed three to five years after their first ever stroke. Depression (DSM-III-R major depression, partially resolved major depression, and dysthymia) was present in 11 (18%) of the patients and was associated with impaired physical and cognitive functioning, greater age, residence in an institution, absence of a close personal relationship, and larger original brain lesion. Of these variables, only functional dependence (odds ratio 16.4; confidence interval 1.6-170), larger lesion volume (6.6; 1-50), and female sex (8; 1.1-56) remained significantly associated with depression after controlling for all other variables. We conclude that depression in long-term survivors of stroke has many of the same associations as depression in non-stroke elderly populations. Depression in long-term stroke survivors may also be associated with larger original brain lesions, although this requires confirmation in a prospective study.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Psychiatry

Publication Date





380 - 386


Age Factors, Aged, Brain, Cerebrovascular Disorders, Confidence Intervals, Depressive Disorder, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Interpersonal Relations, Male, Middle Aged, Odds Ratio, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Severity of Illness Index, Sex Factors, Social Adjustment, Tomography, X-Ray Computed