Physical limitations tied to increased risk for mental health conditions in youth

  • Adams JS & al.
  • Pediatrics
  • 14 Jun 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Children with chronic physical conditions (CPCs) are 51% more likely to develop a chronic mental health condition (MHC) than other children, including anxiety, mood, and behavior disorders.
  • Among children with CPCs, those who reported physical activity limitations were more than 3 times as likely to develop an MHC.

Why this matters

  • Clinicians who treat children with CPCs should include early assessment and treatment of MHCs as part of their care plan.

Study design

  • Retrospective cohort study of 48,572 individuals (aged 6-25 years) from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) during 2003-2014.
  • Funding: Leadership Education in Adolescent Health; others.

Key results

  • 14.7% of participants had CPCs.
  • Participants with CPCs vs those without had a 51% greater adjusted risk for MHCs (aHR, 1.51; P<.001 style="list-style-type:circle;">
  • Anxiety: aHR, 1.51; P<.001.>
  • Mood: aHR, 1.70; P<.001.>
  • Behavior disorders: aHR, 1.54; P<.01.>
  • In participants with CPCs, those who reported activity limitations vs none had a 3.6-fold increased risk for MHCs (aHR, 3.60; P<.001>

    Limitations

    • Self-reported data.

    Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD