ABC News reports that senior study author Dr. Kathryn Rexrode, an internist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, said that depressed women who were taking popular medications such as Celexa, Zoloft and Prozac were "perhaps at even higher risk" of suffering from strokes.
Still, Rexrode explained that women should not simply view the latest research as an indication that if they cease taking the drugs, their risk of stroke will drop, according to the news source.
"I don't think the medications themselves are the primary cause of the risk," Rexrode explained, adding that those who take antidepressants may have worse symptoms than those who do not medicate themselves.
The latest study, which was published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, included data from the Nurses' Health Study, which followed more than 120,000 women since 1976 for a variety of health issues.
The calculations made by the researchers who studied women who suffered from strokes suggested that depression raised a woman's stroke risk by 29 percent. Additionally, among women taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the risk of stroke was 39 percent higher than those who had not reported depression or ever taking antidepressants, the researchers noted.
Rexrode explained that a potential underlying cause of depression leading to stroke among women was the inability to control risk factors such as diabetes or hypertension through medication or changing lifestyles.
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According to HealthDay, a British study recently suggested that SSRIs may have more side effects than older antidepressants, particularly for older citizens.
The researchers, including study author Carol Coupland, an associate professor of medical statistics at the University of Nottingham, found that seniors taking SSRIs had a higher risk of death, stroke, falling, seizures and breaking a bone than those who were not taking antidepressants.
Additionally, that risk appeared to be higher among SSRI patients than those taking older drugs known as tricyclic antidepressants, the researchers noted.