Odds of Anxiety, Depression, ADHD Up With Congenital Heart Disease

Youth with congenital heart disease (CHD) have increased odds of anxiety and/or depression or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), regardless of disease severity, according to a study published online in Pediatrics.

Vincent J. Gonzalez, MD, from Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues conducted a comparative cross-sectional study using electronic health records from a tertiary care hospital between 2011 and 2016 to characterize anxiety, depression, and ADHD among youth with versus without CHD. A total of 118,785 patients aged 4 to 17 years with more than one hospitalization or emergency department visit were included; 1,164 had CHD.

The researchers found that 18.2 percent of the patients with CHD and 5.2 percent of those without CHD had a diagnosis or medication for anxiety or depression. Significantly higher odds of anxiety and/or depression or ADHD were seen for all youth with CHD. The odds of diagnosis or treatment for anxiety and/or depression were increased for children aged 4 to 9 years with simple CHD (odds ratio=5.23) and for those with complex single ventricle CHD (odds ratio=7.46). The likelihood of being diagnosed or treated for anxiety and/or depression or ADHD was significantly lower for minority and uninsured youth, regardless of disease severity.

“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,” the authors write.

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