BOSTON, MA (CBS) – A new study claims frequent symptoms of depression can put you at higher risk of having a stroke.

The research, which was done in Boston, looked at more than 16,000 people with an average age of 65.

Participants were interviewed biennially between 1998 and 2010, and both self-reports of doctors’ diagnoses and the results of a survey were taken into account to determine depression patterns.

What scientists found is that “persistently high depressive symptoms were associated with increased stroke risk,” even in those whose symptoms had abated between interviews.

“This study, in conjunction with other work confirming that depressive symptoms are causally related to stroke risk, suggests that clinicians should seek to identify and treat depressive symptoms as early as possible relative to their onset, before adverse consequences begin to accumulate,” the scientists conclude.

The research is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.