The study found that depression seemed to raise the risk of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA) by 86 percent. It also found that stress apparently raised stroke or TIA risk by 59 percent. And hostility doubled the risk, the researchers said. A TIA is a mini-stroke caused by a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain.
However, it's important to note that the study only found an association between the risk of stroke and negative emotions. It wasn't designed to prove that negative emotions can cause strokes.
Still, "chronic stress and negative emotions are important psychological factors that affect one's health, and findings from this study link these factors to brain health in particular," said the study's lead author, Susan Everson-Rose, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota.
"Patients and their health care providers should be aware that experiences of chronic stress and negative emotional states can increase risk for stroke," she noted.