Mental disorders increase risk of heart attack by 58% for people under 40: 4 notes

A recent study found mental disorders increased heart attack risk by 58 percent and stroke risk by 42 percent for people under 40 years old.

The study, published May 8 in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, used Korean National Health Insurance Service data for more than 6.5 million people between 2009 and 2012. Roughly 13 percent of individuals had some form of mental disorder, including depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, insomnia, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorder, somatoform disorder, eating disorder and substance use disorder. Participants were monitored until December 2018.

Here are three findings:

  1. Researchers found that people with a mental disorder did not have unfavorable lifestyle behaviors or worse metabolic profiles compared to their counterparts.

  2. Participants had a higher risk of stroke, except for those with PTSD and eating disorders.

  3. Mental disorders were independently associated with increased cardiovascular events.

"We have known for some time that mental health and physical health are linked, but what I find surprising about these findings is that these links were observable at such a young age," Katherine Ehrlich, PhD, an associate professor of behavioral and brain sciences at the University of Georgia who was not involved in the study, told CNN.

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