Acupuncture Therapy and Incidence of Depression After Stroke

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Background and Purpose—

We investigated whether use of acupuncture within a 3-month poststroke period after hospital discharge is associated with reduced risk of depression.


This cohort study included 16 046 patients aged ≥18 years with an initial hospitalization for stroke during 2000 and 2012 in the claims database of a universal health insurance program. Patients who had received acupuncture therapies within 3 months of discharge were defined as acupuncture users (n=1714). All patients were followed up for incidence of depression until the end of 2013. We assessed the association between use of acupuncture and incidence of depression using Cox proportional hazards models in all subjects and in propensity score–matched samples consisting of 1714 pairs of users and nonusers.


During the follow-up period, the incidence of depression per 1000 person-years was 11.1 and 9.7 in users and nonusers, respectively. Neither multivariable-adjusted Cox models (hazard ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 0.84–1.29) nor the propensity score-matching model (hazard ratio, 1.06; 95% confidence interval, 0.79–1.42) revealed an association between use of acupuncture and incidence of depression.


In patients admitted to hospital for stroke, acupuncture therapy within 3 months after discharge was not associated with subsequent incidence of depression.

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