J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 85:514-521 doi:10.1136/jnnp-2013-306448
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Research paper

The long-term outcomes of depression up to 10 years after stroke; the South London Stroke Register

  1. A G Rudd1,4
  1. 1Division of Health and Social Care Research, King's College London, London, UK
  2. 2Blizard Institute, Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
  3. 3National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre, Guy's and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  4. 4Stroke Unit, Guy's and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, St. Thomas’ Hospital London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Luis Ayerbe, Blizard Institute, Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, Yvonne Carter Building, 58 Turner Street, London E1 2AB, UK; l.garcia-morzon{at}
  • Received 31 July 2013
  • Revised 30 September 2013
  • Accepted 7 October 2013
  • Published Online First 25 October 2013


Background Post-stroke depression is a frequent chronic and recurrent problem that starts shortly after stroke and affects patients in the long term. The health outcomes of depression after stroke are unclear.

Aims (1) To investigate the associations between depression at 3 months and mortality, stroke recurrence, disability, cognitive impairment, anxiety and quality of life (QoL), up to 5 years post-stroke. (2) To investigate these associations in patients recovering from depression by year 1. (3) To investigate associations between depression at 5 years and these outcomes up to 10 years.

Methods Data from the South London Stroke Register (1997–2010) were used. Patients (n at registration=3240) were assessed at stroke onset, 3 months after stroke and annually thereafter. Baseline data included sociodemographics and stroke severity measures. Follow-up assessments included anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale), disability, QoL and stroke recurrence. Multivariable regression models adjusted for age, gender, ethnicity, stroke severity and disability were used to investigate the association between depression and outcomes at follow-up.

Results Depression at 3 months was associated with: increased mortality (HR: 1.27 (1.04 to 1.55)), disability (RRs up to 4.71 (2.96 to 7.48)), anxiety (ORs up to 3.49 (1.71 to 7.12)) and lower QoL (coefficients up to −8.16 (−10.23−6.15)) up to year 5. Recovery from depression by 1 year did not alter these risks to 5 years. Depression in year 5 was associated with anxiety (ORs up to 4.06 (1.92 to 8.58)) and QoL (coefficients up to −11.36 (−14.86 to −7.85)) up to year 10.

Conclusions Depression is independently associated with poor health outcomes.

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