FRIDAY, May 28, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have an increased risk for ischemic stroke, according to a study published online May 27 in Stroke.

Mu-Hung Chen, M.D., Ph.D., from Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan, and colleagues used data collected between 2001 and 2010 for 28,064 adult patients with OCD and 28,064 age-, sex-, and comorbidity-matched controls. Patients who developed ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke through the end of 2011 were identified.

The researchers found that compared with non-OCD controls, patients with OCD, especially middle-aged and elderly adults, had an elevated risk for developing ischemic stroke during follow-up (hazard ratios, 3.02, 2.66, and 3.46, respectively). There was no difference noted in the cumulative hazard ratio of hemorrhagic stroke between the OCD and non-OCD groups. Compared with nonuse, short- and long-term use of OCD medications was not associated with ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke among patients with OCD.

“Our findings remind clinicians to closely monitor blood pressure and lipid profiles, which are known to be related to stroke in patients with OCD,” a coauthor said in a statement. “More research is needed to understand how the mental processes connected to OCD may increase the risk of ischemic stroke.”

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