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Study: 1 In 12 Stroke Survivors Think About Suicide

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File photo of a patient discussing with a doctor.  (Credit: Thinkstock)

File photo of a patient discussing with a doctor. (Credit: Thinkstock)

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ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – A new study finds that one in 12 stroke survivors in the United States think about committing suicide or wish they were dead.

The researchers say, due to their findings, that stroke survivors should get screened for depression and suicidal thoughts.

Researchers analyzed data between 2005 and 2010 from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. They found that almost 8 percent of stroke survivors have suicidal thoughts, while about 6 percent of heart attack survivors, 5 percent of diabetes patients, and 4 percent of cancer patients do.

“The proportion of stroke survivors who thought about suicide was surprising, compared to patients with other health issues,” lead author Dr. Amytis Towfighi, an assistant professor of clinical neurology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and chair of neurology at the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, told HealthDay.

“Given the high prevalence of suicidal thoughts among stroke survivors, perhaps regular screening for suicidal ideation, in addition to depression, is warranted,” Towfighi added.

This study was presented at a medical meeting and has not yet been published.

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