Depressed teens at higher risk of heart disease

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Depressed teens – Adolescents with mood disorders are at greater risk to have heart disease.

Teenagers with mood disorders such as major depression and bipolar disorder are more likely to suffer heart disease at an early age as compared to those who are not experiencing these mental health issues. The American Heart Association advised the practitioners to screen the teens with depression and bipolar in order to reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

The researchers assessed the published data on mood disorders in people under the age of 30 years. They targeted the individuals with depression or bipolar and for whom data regarding their cardiovascular markers, such as blood pressure and cholesterol, also existed. They discovered a significant link between having depression or bipolar disorder and increased odds of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and atherosclerosis.

The researchers could not explain the biological causes behind increased cardiovascular risk among the youngsters. But they pointed towards an association between adolescent mood problems and increased inflammation. While mood disorder medications are associated with weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and increased blood sugar levels. In addition, other possible risk factors could be lack of exercise, smoking or drug abuse.

“These disorders indicate an increased risk of heart disease that requires increased vigilance and action at the earliest possible stage,” said Dr. Benjamin Goldstein, a psychiatrist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center.

About 10% of teens in the United States are affected by these two mood disorders. This group of disorders is not yet widely known as the possible factors for early heart disease. The researchers hope that the patients, families and healthcare providers will work together to tackle the risk of cardiovascular disease among these youth.

Dr. Goldstein and colleagues emphasized that major depression and bipolar disorder should be classified as moderate risk factors for heart disease in teenagers. IMAGE/mamashealth

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