Impact of Depression on Stroke Risk Following Myocardial Infarction

Researchers assessed the relationship between depression and incidence of stroke in patients with a history of myocardial infarction.

The following article is a part of conference coverage from the American College of Cardiology’s 71st Annual Scientific Session & Expo being held in Washington, DC, from April 2 to 4, 2022. The team at Cardiology Advisor will be reporting on the latest news and research conducted by clinicians and scientists in the field. Check back for more from the ACC 2022 .


Following myocardial infarction (MI), patients diagnosed with depression have an increased likelihood of stroke according to results of research presented at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 71st Annual Scientific Session & Expo, from April 2nd through 4th, in Washington, DC.

Depression is a debilitating disease, taking its toll psychologically and physiologically. For patients trying to recover from MI, depression may confound and impair the recovery process. Among patients recovering from MI, researchers sought to investigate the effect of depression.

To accomplish this, researchers conducted a retrospective observational study of 495,386 adult patients, aged 18 to 90 years, in the Trinetx Research Network. These patients had history of MI between January 2015 and January 2021. A cohort of 51,514 patients (aged 65.5±14.1 years) from this population were additionally diagnosed with depression following the MI event. This cohort had a greater prevalence of comorbidities, including chronic heart failure, diabetes, and hypertension. A well-matched control cohort of the same size was chosen from the remaining 443,716 patients from the original study population who did not have depression.

Patients in the depression cohort experienced higher stroke incidence than patients in the control cohort (12% vs 8.3%, P <.01), and, of all patients who experienced stroke, a log-rank showed similar results in the depression cohort (82.6%) vs the control cohort (87.2%) (P <.01).

“The only difference between these 2 cohorts is that 1 has depression,” Dr Frank H. Annie, lead study author, said in an ACC press release. “There could be a multitude of depression-related factors that are leading to these outcomes. What we’re seeing in this data is very troubling, and we need to dig deeper to understand the causes and effects.”

Annie said multiple factors could account for the difference. For example, having depression may interfere with a person’s ability to attend medical appointments and keep up with their medications.

The researchers wrote, “In a large multi-national database of patients, we observed that those with a myocardial infarction that have diagnosed depression have increased cases of stroke.”


Annie FH, Dave S, Mandapaka S, Nanjundappa A. The effect of depression on post myocardial infarction cases. Presented at: American College of Cardiology 71st Annual Scientific Session & Expo; April 2-4, 2022; Washington, DC. Abstract number 22-A-11826-ACC.

Depression after a heart attack heightens stroke risk. News Release. Washington, DC. March 23, 2022.

Visit Cardiology Advisor’s conference section for complete coverage of ACC 2022.