Mental Health Disorders May Contribute to Increased Risk Stroke or Heart Attack, Study Shows

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A study with over 6.5 million participants has revealed a significant link between mental health and cardiovascular fitness. According to the study, young adults aged 20 years to 30 years with mental disorders had up to three times higher chances of experiencing a heart attack or stroke.

Lifestyle choices not linked to increased risk of stroke

The researchers from South Korea emphasize that lifestyle choices were not responsible for this increased risk. Approximately one in every eight individuals analyzed in the study had a mental illness such as depression, anxiety, or insomnia.

A recent study by Professor Eue-Keun Choi from Seoul National University College of Medicine revealed a significant association between psychological issues in young adults and cardiovascular health. Furthermore, the research suggests that regular health check-ups and appropriate medication could help prevent heart attacks and strokes in these individuals.

Although lifestyle behaviours alone didn’t account for the increased cardiovascular risk, adopting healthier habits could potentially improve their prognosis. Thus, the study recommends encouraging lifestyle modifications in young adults with mental disorders to enhance heart health.

The researchers examined the connection between mental disorders in adults aged 20-39 and the risk of developing heart attacks and strokes. They used the Korean National Health Insurance Service database, including 6,557,727 young adults who had health examinations between 2009 and 2012.

Individuals with mental disorders are at high risk of stroke

Among them, 13% had a mental health disorder, with anxiety being the most prevalent (47.9%), followed by depression (21.2%) and insomnia (20%). Around 27.9% of those with mental health issues had the somatoform disorder. Other disorders included substance use disorder (2.7%), bipolar disorder (1.3%), schizophrenia (0.9%), eating disorder (0.9%), personality disorder (0.7%), and post-traumatic stress disorder (0.4%). According to a study, individuals with mental disorders have a significantly higher risk of heart attack and stroke than those without such disorders. For example, the risk of heart attack was between 1.49 and 3.13 times higher for various mental disorders, including PTSD, schizophrenia, substance use disorder, bipolar disorder, personality disorder, eating disorders, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and somatoform disorder.

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