Summary: The study also found links between depression and other mental health problems and the risk of cardiovascular disease in young adults.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

A new study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, which examined data from more than half a million people between the ages of 18 and 18, found that young adults who feel depressed or depressed have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and heart health 49.

The findings add to the growing body of evidence linking CVD to depression among young and middle-aged adults and suggest that the relationship between the two may begin as early as adulthood.

The study was published on January 23 Journal of the American Heart AssociationIn addition, young adults who report feeling stressed or experiencing poor mental health days are at higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease compared to their peers without mental health problems.

“When you’re stressed, anxious or worried, you can become overwhelmed, and your heart rate and blood pressure increase. It’s also common that unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise, can lead to obesity, says Garima Sharma, MBBS, associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins. Medicine and senior author of the study.

Sharma and her colleagues looked at data from 593,616 adults who participated in a self-reported, nationally representative study of behavioral risk factors between 2017 and 2020.

The survey included questions about whether they had been diagnosed with a depressive disorder, how many days they had experienced a mental health problem in the past month (0 days, 1-13 days or 14-30 days), and whether they had had a heart attack. If you have a stroke, stroke or chest pain, and cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, smoking, diabetes, and poor exercise and diet. People with two or more of these risk factors are considered to have poor cardiovascular health.

One in five adults say they are depressed or often feel low, with the study suggesting that rates may have been higher last year, the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of American adults experiencing depression or anxiety rose from 36.4% to 41.5% in the first year of the epidemic, with the largest increase among 18- to 29-year-olds.

This shows that the brain is in the shape of a heart
People with two or more of these risk factors are considered to have poor cardiovascular health. Image is in public domain.

Overall, the study found that people who self-reported feeling tired for many days had a strong association with cardiovascular disease and poor heart health. Participants who reported up to 13 poor mental health days in the past 30 days were 1.5 times more likely to develop CVD compared to those with no poor mental health days in the past 30 days, while those with 14 or more days of poor mental health were twice as likely. Associations between poor mental health and CVD did not differ significantly by gender or urban/rural status.

“The relationship between depression and heart disease is a two-way street. Depression puts you at risk for heart problems, and those with heart disease also have depression,” says Ya Adoma Kwapong, MD, MPH, a postdoctoral researcher at the Johns Hopkins Cicarron Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and lead author of the study. .

“Our study suggests that prioritizing mental health among young people and possibly screening and monitoring heart disease in people with mental health problems, and vice versa, can improve overall heart health.”

Kwapong said this new study only provides a snapshot of cardiovascular health care in young people with depression, and more research is needed to see how depression affects cardiovascular health over time.

So depression and CVD research news

Author: Press office
Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine
Contact: Press Office – Johns Hopkins Medicine
Image: The image is in the public domain.

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Preliminary study: Open Access.
Depression and poor mental health among young adults in the United States Association for Cardiovascular Disease and Advanced Cardiovascular Health” by Yaa A. Kwapong et al. Journal of the American Heart Association


Depression and poor mental health among young adults in the United States Association for Cardiovascular Disease and Advanced Cardiovascular Health


Depression is a rare risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Data on the association of depression and poor mental health with CVD and suboptimal cardiovascular disease (CVH) among young adults are limited.

Methods and results

We used data from 593 616 young adults (aged 18–49 years) from the 2017 to 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a nationally representative survey of noninstitutionalized American adults. Exposure to self-reported depression and poor mental health days (PMHDs; categorized as 0, 1–13, and 14–30 days of poor mental health in the past 30 days).

Outcomes were self-reported CVD (myocardial infarction, angina, or stroke) and suboptimal CVH (≥2 cardiovascular risk factors: hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, obesity, smoking, diabetes, physical inactivity, and inadequate fruit and vegetable intake). . Using logistic regression, we examined the association of depression and PMHD with CVD and suboptimal CVH, adjusting for sociodemographic factors (and cardiovascular risk factors for CVD outcome). Of the 593 616 participants (mean age, 34.7 ± 9.0 years), severe depression was 19.6% (95% CI, 19.4-19.8) and CVD was 2.5% (95% CI, 2.4-2.6). ). People with depression had a higher risk of CVD than people without depression (odds ratio [OR]2.32 [95% CI, 2.13–2.51]).

There was an association of PMHDs diagnosed with CVD. Compared with individuals with 0 PMHDs, the odds of CVD in those with 1 to 13 PMHDs and 14 to 30 PMHDs were 1.48 (95% CI, 1.34–1.62) and 2.29 (95% CI, 2.08–2.51), respectively, after adjustment. Sociodemographic and cardiovascular risk factors. The associations did not differ significantly by gender or urban/rural status. Individuals with depression had higher CVH (OR, 1.79 [95% CI, 1.65–1.95]) compared with those without depression, with a similar degree of association between PMHDs and suboptimal CVH.


Depression and poor mental health are associated with premature CVD and lower CVH among young adults. Although this association is likely to be bidirectional, prioritizing mental health may help reduce CVD risk and improve CVH in young adults.

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