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Depressed teenagers at greater heart disease risk

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New York: Major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder predispose youth to early cardiovascular disease, the American Heart Association (AHA) has said. 

The AHA statement is based on a group of recent studies including those that reported cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and deaths among young people.

For example, a 2011 population study of over 7,000 young adults in the US under the age of 30, found that depression or an attempted suicide was the No.1 risk factor for heart disease death caused by narrowed/clogged arteries in young women, and the No.4 risk factor in young men.

“Youth with mood disorders are not yet widely recognized as a group at increased risk for excessive and early heart disease. We hope these guidelines will spur action from patients, families and healthcare providers to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease among these youth,” said Benjamin I. Goldstein, lead author of the statement.

Since cardiovascular disease may begin early in life, the authors want to increase awareness and recognition of mood disorders among young people as moderate-risk conditions for early cardiovascular disease.

After systematically analyzing published research, the authors found that teens with major depression or bipolar disorder are more likely than other teens to have several cardiovascular disease risk factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and type-2 diabetes.

“Mood disorders are often lifelong conditions, and managing cardiovascular risk early and assertively is tremendously important if we are to be successful in ensuring that the next generation of youth has better cardiovascular outcomes,” Goldstein, a child-adolescent psychiatrist, said.

The findings were published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association.

(IANS)

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Cannabis Use Has Lasting Effects on Cognitive Skills in Teenagers Than Alcohol

Moreover, these increased with cannabis use and also were long-lasting compared to alcohol

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cannabis flower marijuana

While both alcohol and marijuana misuse are known to be associated with impairments in learning, memory, attention and decision-making, as well as with lower academic performance, a new study claimed that cannabis use has lasting effects on cognitive skills in teenagers than alcohol.

The findings, led by researchers at Universite de Montreal, showed cannabis affected cognitive functions such as perceptual reasoning, memory recall, working memory and inhibitory control.

Moreover, these increased with cannabis use and also were long-lasting compared to alcohol.

“Increases in cannabis use, but not alcohol consumption, showed additional concurrent and lagged effects on cognitive functions such as perceptual reasoning, memory recall, working memory and inhibitory control,” said Patricia Conrod, from the varsity.

“Of particular concern was the finding that cannabis use was associated with lasting effects on a measure of inhibitory control, which is a risk factor for other addictive behaviours, and might explain why early onset cannabis use is a risk factor for other addictions,” added Jean-Francois G. Morin, doctoral student at Montreal.

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Cannabis more ‘toxic’ to teenage brains than alcohol: Study. Pixabay

“Some of these effects are even more pronounced when consumption begins earlier in adolescence,” Morin added.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the team followed a sample of 3,826 Canadian high school students from 7th to 10th grade over a period of four years.

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In a context where policies and attitudes regarding substance use are being reconsidered, this research highlights the importance of protecting youth from the adverse effects of consumption through greater investment in drug-prevention programmes.

“While this study did not detect effects of teenage alcohol consumption on cognitive development, the neurotoxic effects may be observable in specific subgroups differentiated based on the level of consumption, gender or age,” Morin said. (IANS)

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