Older adults have increased odds of having depressive symptoms following a self-reported stroke, but only those with no close social contacts had increased odds of depressive symptoms following a heart attack, a recent study found. Researchers used data from The National Health and Aging Trends Study, a nationally representative longitudinal survey of US Medicare beneficiaries aged ≥65 years. A total of 5,643 older adults had information on social contacts at baseline and depressive symptoms at the 1-year follow-up interview. Researchers found:
- A total of 297 older adults reported experiencing a heart attack and/or stroke between their baseline and follow-up interviews.
- In regression analyses accounting for sociodemographics, baseline depressive symptoms, medical comorbidity, and activities of daily living impairment, older adults with no close social contacts had increased odds of depressive symptoms at follow-up after experiencing a heart attack or stroke, while those with close social contacts had increased odds of depressive symptoms at follow-up after experiencing a stroke, but not a heart attack.
Simning A, Seplaki CL, Conwell Y. The association of a heart attack or stroke with depressive symptoms stratified by the presence of a close social contact: Findings from the National Health and Aging Trends Study cohort. [Published online ahead of print February 21, 2017]. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. doi:10.1002/gps.4684.