Depressed Kids And Heart Disease

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friendFrom Your Health Journal…..”A very good article I had to promote here from Everyday Health written by Jaimie Dalessio entitled Depressed Kids Risk Heart Disease Later. Young children who are depressed are more likely to experience heart problems later in life, even after the struggle with depression has ended. Depression on its own is a known risk factor for heart disease – as well as stress, so it is important to teach children 1) how to manage it….and 2) teach parents the warning signs to look for. If a depressed child or teen leads a sedentary lifestyle, obese, smokes or has poor eating habits, risks are obviously greater. The findings from this study in this article suggest that the consequences of childhood depression reach beyond the emotional realm and can lead to long-term physical health problems. I encourage you all to visit the Everyday Health web site to read the complete article, as well as read many of their other amazing stories. I have provided a short snip below, but also a link to the main story.”

From the article…..

Children who are depressed are more likely than their peers to exhibit heart disease risk factors — like obesity and smoking — as teens.

Depression during childhood makes it more likely that a person will experience heart problems later in life, even after the struggle with depression has ended, according to a new study from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of Pittsburgh.

While depression on its own is a known risk factor for heart disease, this study specifically focused on whether risk factors for heart problems, such as smoking, obesity and sedentary habits, are more prevalent among teens who were depressed as children.

Participants in the study had been part of a study on childhood depression, which began in Hungary in 2004. In 2011, the authors of this new study took a look at the group as adolescents. They compared 210 kids with a history of major depression with 195 siblings and 161 unrelated controls without any history of depression.

At the time of the 2011 evaluation, 86 percent of the participants who had depression were in partial or full remission.

The researchers found that major depression with onset during childhood was associated with a higher prevalence of obesity, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle compared to the prevalence in non-depressed siblings and the unrelated, non-depressed members of the control group. Of the kids who were depressed in childhood (average onset at age 9), 22 percent were obese at age 16, according to the findings, and one-third smoked cigarettes daily. In the United States, 12.7 million children between the ages 2 and 19 are obese, according to statistics from the American Heart Association.

While non-depressed siblings showed a slightly higher prevalence of heart disease risk factors compared to the unrelated control group (suggesting family influences on heart disease), the connection between depression and such risk factors was “over and above that associated with family,” wrote study author Robert M. Carney, PhD, a professor of psychiatry at Washington University, in his report on the findings, which he is presenting today at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society in Miami, Fla.

To read the complete article…..Click here