adults with adhd are at greater risk of developing a range of heart disease compared to people without the condition, according to a large observational study. attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders, with a global prevalence of approximately 2.5 percent in adults. It often exists in parallel with other mental and physical conditions, some of which have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). But whether ADHD is independently associated with overall and specific cardiovascular diseases has not received as much attention. (Also read: 4 Signs You Have Heart Failure And You Don’t Know ,
In the current study, researchers sought to uncover the association between ADHD and some 20 different heart diseases when isolated from other known risk factors such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, smoking, sleep problems and psychiatric disorders.
“We found that adults with ADHD were more than twice as likely to develop at least one cardiovascular disease as those without ADHD,” says study first author Lin Lee, a postdoctoral researcher in Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. “When we accounted for other well-established risk factors for CVD, the association weakened but still remained significant, which indicates that ADHD is an independent risk factor for a wide range of cardiovascular diseases. “
The findings are based on national registry data from more than five million Swedish adults, including about 37,000 people with ADHD. After an average of 11.8 years of follow-up, 38 percent of individuals with ADHD had at least one diagnosis of heart disease, compared with 24 percent of people without ADHD.
Risks were higher for all types of cardiovascular diseases, and especially for cardiac arrest, hemorrhagic stroke and peripheral vascular diseases. The association was somewhat stronger in males than in females. Certain psychiatric comorbidities, particularly eating and substance use disorders, significantly increase the risk of heart disease in people with ADHD. Treatment with stimulants and other psychiatric medications, such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs, did not materially affect the association between ADHD and heart disease.
The researchers note that due to the observational nature of the study, the findings cannot establish a causal relationship. “Clinicians need to carefully consider psychological comorbidities and lifestyle factors to help reduce CVD risk in individuals with ADHD, but we need to explore practical biological mechanisms such as shared genetic components for ADHD and cardiovascular disease.” More research is needed for this,” said study’s last author Henrik Larsson, professor in the School of Medical Sciences, rebro University and affiliated researcher at the Karolinska Institutet.
This story has been published without modification in text from a wire agency feed. Only the title has been changed.