We all feel a little down from time-to-time - but clinical depression can have far-reaching health consequences. Women with depression risk hypertension, diabetes and elevated cholesterol, all of which adds up to an increased risk of stroke.
New research is published today in the American Heart Association journal Stroke that found risk can increased up to 39% for post-menopausal women on antidepressants.
80,574 women were assessed in the Nurses' Health Study, a US research project focusing on factors influencing the long-term health of nurses, who had no history of stroke prior to the study.
Scientists and depression charities said they did not believe the medication alone were to blame and urged women not to stop taking their medication.
Dr Peter Coleman, deputy director of research at The Stroke Association, said: "Depression is a very serious condition which needs to be treated carefully by healthcare professionals. However, it is very hard to determine whether there is a direct link between depression and stroke risk and a lot more research is needed in this area before depression alone can be viewed as a stroke risk factor.”