Skajaa N, Adelborg K, Horvath-Puho E, Rothman KJ, Henderson VW, Thygesen LC, Sorensen HT. Stroke and risk of mental disorders compared with matched general population and Myocardial infarction comparators. Stroke. 2022 Jul;53(7):2287-98. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.121.037740

BACKGROUND: Accurate estimates of risks of poststroke outcomes from large population-based studies can provide a basis for public health policy decisions. We examined the absolute and relative risks of a spectrum of incident mental disorders following ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage.

METHODS: During 2004 to 2018, we used Danish registries to identify patients (≥18 years and with no hospital history of mental disorders), with a first-time ischemic stroke (n=76767) or intracerebral hemorrhage (n=9344), as well as age-,sex-, and calendar year-matched general population (n=464 840) and myocardial infarction (n=92 968) comparators. We computed risk differences, considering death a competing event, and hazard ratios adjusted for income, occupation, education, and history of cardiovascular and noncardiovascular comorbidity.

RESULTS: Compared with the general population, following ischemic stroke, the 1-year risk difference was 7.3% (95% CI, 7.0-7.5) for mood disorders (driven by depression), 1.4% (95% CI, 1.3-1.5) for organic brain disorders (driven by dementia and delirium), 0.8% (95% CI, 0.7-0.8) for substance abuse disorders (driven by alcohol and tobacco abuse), and 0.5% (95% CI, 0.4-0.5) for neurotic disorders (driven by anxiety and stress disorders). For suicide, risk differences were near null. Hazard ratios were particularly elevated in the first year of follow-up, ranging from a 2- to a 4-fold increased hazard, decreasing thereafter. Compared with myocardial infarction patients, the 1-year risk difference was 4.9% (95% CI, 4.6 to 5.3) for mood disorders, 1.0% (95% CI, 0.8 to 1.1) for organic brain disorders, 0.1% (95% CI, 0.0 to 0.2) for substance abuse disorders, but -0.2% (95% CI, -0.2 to -0.1) for neurotic disorders. Hazard ratios during the first year of follow-up were elevated 1.1- to 1.8-fold for mood, organic brain, and neurotic disorders, while decreased 0.8-fold for neurotic disorders.

The considerably greater risks of mental disorders following a stroke, particularly mood disorders, underline the importance of mental health evaluation after stroke.

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