DALLAS, TX – For the first time, experts urge early monitoring for heart and blood vessel disease among teens with major depression or bipolar disorder, according to a scientific statement published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association.
“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, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the statement and a child-adolescent psychiatrist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto.
Previous research showed that adults with major depression and bipolar disorder are far more likely to have cardiovascular disease, and that they experience cardiovascular disease at much earlier ages than other adults. Since cardiovascular disease may begin early in life, the authors of the statement want to increase awareness and recognition of mood disorders among young people as moderate-risk conditions for early cardiovascular disease.
The biological causes of these increased risks remain unclear, but they may be related to inflammation and other types of cell damage, which some studies found occur more frequently among teens with mood disorders compared to other teens.
For the AHA scientific statement in its entirety, visit http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2015/08/10/CIR.0000000000000229.