"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Mental illnesses before the age of 40 result in heart attacks and strokes

May 9, 2023 – People diagnosed with a mental disorder of their twenties or thirties usually tend to have a heart attack or stroke later in life, in response to a brand new study.

The research builds on existing knowledge that individuals with mental illness often have multiple conditions at the identical time. The findings offer a possible compass to assist these people live longer and avoid potentially fatal heart problems.

The study was published last month in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The researchers analyzed insurance data from greater than 6.5 million people between the ages of 20 and 39 living in South Korea who had no history of heart attacks or strokes. About 13% of individuals had a mental health diagnosis at first of the study and were significantly more prone to have a heart attack or stroke in the next 8 years than people with no mental illness.

In particular, the danger of heart attack was 58% higher and the danger of stroke was 42% higher in individuals with mental illness than in people without mental health problems.

Different disorders had different risk levels. When taking a look at heart attacks, the best risk was in people diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or a personality disorder. The mental illnesses related to the best risk of stroke were personality disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and substance use disorder.

People with PTSD or eating disorders didn't have a better risk of stroke. Depression and anxiety were related to a better risk of heart attack and stroke.

“Patients with mental health problems are known to have a shorter life expectancy than the general population, with the majority of deaths being due to physical illness,” said researcher Chan Soon Park, MD, of Seoul National University Hospital in a opinion“Our study shows that a significant number of young adults have at least one mental health problem that may make them vulnerable to heart attacks and strokes. Future research should examine the cardiovascular benefits of treating mental health problems and monitoring heart health in this vulnerable group.”

More than one in five adults within the United States suffers from a mental illness, in response to the CDCand one in 25 suffers from a serious mental illness similar to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or severe depression.