Depression, anxiety linked to less-than-ideal CV health in young adults

January 21, 2023

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The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.

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The researchers reported that depression and anxiety in young adults are associated with less ideal CV health, which can be improved with better diet, physical activity and better sleep.

“The mechanisms linking mental health and cardiovascular health are likely multifactorial. Depression is characterized by apathy and lack of motivation, which can limit one’s ability to engage in physical activity and follow healthy dietary patterns.” Individuals with depression or anxiety may eat fewer heart-healthy foods or smoke cigarettes to cope with their negative emotional state. Sierra L. Patterson, MPH, student in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues wrote.

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Depression and anxiety in young adults are associated with less ideal CV health, which can be improved with better diet, physical activity and better sleep.
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The researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 875 individuals aged 18 to 34 (median age, 28 years; 83% women) who completed the Emory Healthy Aging Study health history questionnaire between 2015 and 2019. , intermediate or ideal level of “Life’s Essential 8” CV health metrics as defined by the American Heart Association.

The scores for all metrics, except sleep, were summed to create a total CV health score ranging from 0 to 14 for all individuals included, and the scores were then ranked as low, moderate, or high (0–7, 8–11 or 12–7). ) was classified as 14, respectively). Individuals were also classified by smoking status, exercise each week, and BMI.

CV Health, Anxiety & Depression

The mean CV health score was 10.4 and was higher in females than in males (10.5 vs 9.9). In the group, 62.3% of individuals had no anxiety, 23% had mild anxiety and 14.7% had moderate to severe anxiety. In addition, 60.6% of participants had no depression, 24.8% had mild depression and 14.6% had moderate to severe depression.

Overall, moderate CV health scores of 8 to 11 were reported in 55.7% of individuals.

The researchers found that less than 3% of participants met criteria for ideal diet, 43.1% had ideal physical activity patterns, 69.7% had ideal sleep duration, 84.6% did not smoke, 61% had ideal BMI, 90% had ideal cholesterol, 93.3% had ideal BP, and 98.4% had ideal diabetes status.

People with moderate to severe anxiety were less likely to meet ideal levels of physical activity (adjusted prevalence ratio). [aPR] = 0.6; according to the researchers . Individuals with moderate to severe anxiety were less likely to have high overall CV health (aPR = 0.8; 95% CI, 0.7–0.96) compared with those with no anxiety.

In individuals with moderate to severe depression, meeting ideal levels of physical activity (APR = 0.48; 95% CI, 0.34–0.69), BP (APR = 0.92; 95% CI, 0.86–0.99), BMI (APR = 0.75) The chances were slim. , 95% CI, 0.61–0.91), and sleep (aPR = 0.79; 95% CI, 0.66–0.94) compared to individuals with no depression, the researchers wrote. Ideal levels of cholesterol (aPR = 0.91; 95% CI, 0.86–0.97), physical activity (aPR = 0.79; 95% CI, 0.71–0.85) and BMI (aPR = 0.81; 95% CI, 0.71) in individuals with mild depression -0.93) compared to people without depression.

Supporting mental and CV health

“Depression and anxiety are associated with less-than-ideal cardiovascular health in young adults,” wrote Patterson and colleagues. “Given these findings and the importance of achieving and maintaining cardiovascular health early in life to prevent CVD, we look to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors to support both mental and cardiovascular health.” Urge providers treating young adults.”

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