Dec 28, 2020
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Depression in children and adolescents has been linked to the risk of death, injury and several diseases

Scientists analyzed data on one and a half million inhabitants of Sweden, born in 1982-1996. Participants were followed from the age of five until 2013. Of these, 37,000 were diagnosed with depression between the ages of five and 19. They were between 17 and 31 years old at the time of completion of the study.

The study authors focused on 69 different pathologies. It turned out that the risk of 66 of them is increased in people who suffered from depression in childhood and adolescence. Among them:

  • premature death (six times),
  • diabetes mellitus (six times),
  • kidney disease (three times),
  • viral hepatitis (six times),
  • sleep disorders (eight times),
  • self-harm (14 times).

In women, against the background of depression, injuries, diseases of the urinary and respiratory systems were more common. In men – obesity, thyroid disease, eczema.

According to scientists, their data emphasizes that children and adolescents who are diagnosed with depression need medical attention. In particular, screening for a range of physical and mental illnesses may be useful for them.

The study authors suggest that some of these risks may be related to concomitant psychiatric problems: substance abuse and anxiety. However, further research is required to better understand this phenomenon.

“We need more research to assess the causal link between depression and other illnesses. At this time, we cannot tell if depression leads to an increased risk of certain diseases or if there are factors that increase the risk of both depression and these diseases, ”said Marica Leone, lead author of the study.

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