Summary: Study finds association between depression and other mental health problems and increased risk of cardiovascular disease in young people.
Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine
Young adults who feel down or depressed are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD) and have poor heart health, according to a new study led by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers who analyzed data from more than half a million people aged 18 to 49.
The findings add to a growing body of evidence linking cardiovascular disease to depression in young and middle-aged adults, and suggest the relationship between the two may begin in early adulthood.
The study, published on January 23 in the Journal of the American Heart Associationalso found that young adults who reported being depressed or had days of poor mental health had higher rates of heart attacks, strokes, and risk factors for heart disease compared to their peers without health problems. mental.
“When you are stressed, anxious or depressed, you can feel overwhelmed and your heart rate and blood pressure increase. It’s also common that feeling depressed can lead to poor lifestyle choices like smoking, drinking alcohol, sleeping less, and not being physically active — all adverse conditions that negatively impact your heart,” says Garima Sharma, MBBS, Associate Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins. Medicine and lead author of the study.
Sharma and colleagues looked at data from 593,616 adults who participated in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a nationally representative self-reported survey conducted between 2017 and 2020.
The survey included questions about whether they had ever been told they had a depressive disorder, how many days they had poor mental health in the past month (0 days, 1-13 days, or 14 at 30 days), if they had had a heart attack, stroke or chest pain, and if they had risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, being overweight or obese, smoking, diabetes, and poor physical activity and diet. People who had two or more of these risk factors were considered to have suboptimal cardiovascular health.
One in five adults said they had depression or felt frequently depressed, with the study noting that there may have been higher rates in the final year of the study, which was the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of American adults who suffered from depression or anxiety rose from 36.4% to 41.5% in the first year of the pandemic, with the highest peak in people aged 18 to 29.
The study found that, overall, those who reported feeling depressed for several days had a stronger link to cardiovascular disease and poor heart health. Compared with people who reported no days of poor mental health in the past 30 days, participants who reported up to 13 days of poor mental health had a 1.5 times higher risk of cardiovascular disease, while those with 14 or more days of poor mental health had double that. Associations between poor mental health and cardiovascular disease did not differ significantly by gender or urban/rural status.
“The relationship between depression and heart disease is a two-way street. Depression increases your risk of heart problems, and people with heart disease have depression,” says Yaa Adoma Kwapong, MD, MPH, postdoctoral researcher at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and lead author of the study.
“Our study suggests that we need to prioritize mental health in young adults and perhaps increase heart disease screening and surveillance in people with mental health conditions and vice versa to improve overall heart health. “
Kwapong says this new study only provides a snapshot of cardiovascular health in young people with depression, and further studies need to examine how depression affects cardiovascular health over time.
About this depression and cardiovascular disease research news
Author: Press office
Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine
Contact: Press Office – Johns Hopkins Medicine
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Original research: Free access.
“Association of depression and poor mental health with cardiovascular disease and suboptimal cardiovascular health among young adults in the United States” by Yaa A. Kwapong et al. Journal of the American Heart Association
Association of depression and poor mental health with cardiovascular disease and suboptimal cardiovascular health among young adults in the United States
Depression is a non-traditional risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Data on the association of depression and poor mental health with cardiovascular disease and suboptimal cardiovascular health (CVH) in young adults are limited.
Methods and results
We used data from 593,616 young adults (ages 18 to 49) from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 2017 to 2020, a nationally representative survey of noninstitutionalized U.S. adults. Exposures were self-reported depression and poor mental health days (PMHD; classified as 0, 1–13, and 14–30 poor mental health days in the past 30 days).
Outcomes were self-reported cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction, angina, or stroke) and suboptimal cardiovascular disease (≥ 2 cardiovascular risk factors: hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, overweight/obesity, smoking, diabetes, inactivity body and insufficient consumption of fruits and vegetables). Using logistic regression, we investigated the association of depression and PMHD with suboptimal CVDs and CVHs, adjusting for sociodemographic factors (and cardiovascular risk factors for CVD outcome). Of the 593,616 participants (mean age, 34.7 ± 9.0 years), the weighted prevalence of depression was 19.6% (95% CI, 19.4-19.8) and the weighted prevalence of cardiovascular disease was 2.5% (95% CI, 2.4-2.6). People with depression had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than those without depression (odds ratio [OR]2.32 [95% CI, 2.13–2.51]).
There was a graded association of PMHD with CVD. Compared with people with 0 PMHD, the odds of CVD in those with 1 to 13 PMHD and 14 to 30 PHMD were 1.48 (95% CI, 1.34 to 1.62) and 2.29 (CI to 95%, 2.08 to 2.51), respectively, after adjustment for sociodemographic and cardiovascular risk factors. The associations did not differ significantly by sex or urban/rural status. People with depression had a higher risk of suboptimal CVH (OR, 1.79 [95% CI, 1.65–1.95]) compared to those without depression, with a similar graded relationship between PMHD and suboptimal CVH.
Depression and poor mental health are associated with premature cardiovascular disease and suboptimal CVH in young adults. Although this association is likely bidirectional, prioritizing mental health may help reduce CVD risk and improve CVH in young adults.