Cardiac arrhythmias as a risk factor for depression, anxiety and ADHD

Cardiac arrhythmias as a risk factor for depression, anxiety and ADHD

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Study: Children with arrhythmias are more likely to have depression, anxiety and ADHD

According to a new study, children and adolescents with abnormal heart rhythms are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD). The preliminary study results will be presented at this year's American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia.

"This could be the first study of this size to examine children and adolescents with various cardiac arrhythmias (but without structural heart diseases), who have been diagnosed with anxiety and / or depression or who are taking medication," said the lead author of the study, Dr. Keila N. Lopez of Texas Children's Hospital, according to a press release.

Nine times more

As reported by the American Heart Association in a statement, children with arrhythmias (cardiac arrhythmias) have been diagnosed or treated with anxiety and / or depression nine times more often than children without certain chronic illnesses. And they were diagnosed or treated with ADHD almost five times more often.

The researchers analyzed the recordings of more than 250,000 children who were admitted to or admitted to the Texas Children's’s Hospital emergency room between 2011 and 2016.

They compared data from over 7,300 children with abnormal heart rhythms to those of children with congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease and those of children with none of these chronic diseases.

Improve quality of life

"We chose cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease because they are chronic medical-treated diseases and typically involve multiple hospitalizations," said Lopez, assistant professor of paediatrics at Texas Children's Hospital-Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

The study found that children with cardiac arrhythmias were diagnosed and treated with anxiety and / or depression one and a half times more often than in children with cystic fibrosis and more than five times more often than in children with sickle cell disease.

Dr. Bradley S. Marino of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago said in a press release that the study suggests that there is an entire population of children with abnormal heart rhythms who do not have congenital heart disease, which may be very specific and significant Depression and ADHD suffer.

And, according to the medical doctor who was not involved in the study, these children should be identified and treated to improve their quality of life.

Lopez said healthcare professionals should consider systematically examining children with irregular heartbeats. "It is important to pay attention to cardiac arrhythmias and mental health in children." (Ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • American Heart Association: Kids with heart rhythm problems more likely to have ADHD, anxiety and depression, (accessed: November 13, 2019), American Heart Association

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