Children with congenital heart disease 5 times more likely to face mental health disorders, study finds

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Pediatric congenital heart disease were more likely to have anxiety, depression or ADHD compared to those without CHD, according to a study published Jan. 4 in Pediatrics, the official medical journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  

Researchers evaluated the health records of pediatric patients from Texas Children's Hospital between 2011 and 2016. Of the 118,785 patients included in the study, 1,164 had CHD. 

Overall, 18.2 percent of CHD patients had a diagnosis or were prescribed medication for anxiety or depression, compared to 5.2 percent of pediatric patients without CHD. Additionally, those with simple CHD between the ages of 4 and 9 were five times more likely to have a mental health disorder, while patients with complex single ventricle CHD were seven times more likely. Minority and uninsured patients were less likely to be treated or diagnosed with a mental health disorder. 

"With these findings, we emphasize the importance of potential screening for anxiety, depression, and/or ADHD at a young age in patients with CHD, regardless of disease severity," researchers concluded. 

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