Hopelessness may increase risk of stroke

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MINNEAPOLIS (UPI) Healthy middle-aged women with feelings of hopelessness may develop neck artery thickening, a risk factor for stroke, U.S. researchers said.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School looked at 559 women — average age 50, 62 percent white, 38 percent African-American — who were generally healthy and did not show signs of clinical cardiovascular disease.
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Susan A. Everson-Rose and colleagues measured hopelessness with a questionnaire assessing expectancies regarding future and personal goals. Depressive symptoms were measured with a 20-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Thickness of neck arteries was assessed using ultrasound.

The study, published online in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, found hopelessness — negative thinking and feelings of uselessness — affects arteries independent of clinical depression and before women develop clinically relevant cardiovascular disease.

The researchers found a consistent, progressive and linear association between increasing neck artery thickness and rising levels of hopelessness.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 8th Sept 2009

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