Does having ADHD increase the risk of cardiovascular disease?

  • A new study finds that ADHD may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
  • Researchers followed more than 37,000 people with ADHD for about 12 years to see if they developed cardiovascular disease.
  • While all people with ADHD had an increased risk of being diagnosed with heart disease, the risk was particularly high for heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

A new study has found that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

While experts have long known that certain psychological conditions can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, there are few studies on the potential link between ADHD and cardiovascular disease risk.

Now a group of researchers from Karolinska Institutet and Örebro University in Sweden has published a file study in world of psychiatry that assess this risk. The study was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.

The nationwide population cohort study looked at national registry information for 5 million Swedish adults, including 37,000 with ADHD. Researchers followed them for about 12 years to see if there were any developing cardiovascular diseases. (Those with pre-existing cardiovascular disease were excluded from the study.)

About 38% of the group with ADHD had at least one heart disease diagnosis, compared to 24% of those without ADHD.

Although there is an increase in heart disease diagnoses in both men and women, men with ADHD appear to have a higher risk compared to men without ADHD. Since ADHD is diagnosed more often in men than in women, and men are more likely to suffer from different types of cardiovascular disease, it is not known whether this could be an important finding.

While all people with ADHD had an increased risk of being diagnosed with heart disease, the risk was particularly high for heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

The increased risk has also been found in individuals who have been treated for their ADHD with stimulant medications. The study authors note that treatment with certain types of stimulants is known to increase blood pressure and heart rate, as well as factors associated with heart disease, but this cannot fully explain the increased risk.

In addition, an increased risk of heart disease was found in those who did not take these medications. People with ADHD who took non-stimulant psychotropic medications had the same level of risk as those who didn’t. ADHD with some other psychiatric conditions, including eating disorders and substance abuse, resulted in a higher rate of heart diagnoses than the group with ADHD alone.

While the study appears to show an association, as it is only an observational study and the first of its kind, the findings cannot be taken for granted and more research is needed.

Dr. Chris Barnes, Licensed Clinical Psychologist“I think it will be more common for prescribers to have discussions about heart health with their patients who have an ADHD diagnosis. Existing patients with a diagnosis of ADHD should raise these concerns with their providers for any questions,” he said.

“This was a correlational study that doesn’t prove cause and effect,” he says. Miles CooleyPh.D., Board Certified, Licensed Psychologist, in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Mitchell Kleonsky, Ph.D., is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist located in Springfield, Massachusetts., Approves. “The results should be replicated in other countries and other racial and ethnic groups.” He made it clear that he thought the study was good overall, and is a good basis for further research. “I really like this study.

The authors used a large patient population over four decades of data, included a comprehensive range of hemodynamic conditions, and did an excellent job of looking at how medical, psychological, and lifestyle factors associated with vascular disease did not create the link between ADHD and this family of medical problems.”

Other factors in the development of cardiovascular disease, such as diet and exercise, were not included in the statistics. The study authors emphasized that the study only showed an association and not a causal relationship.

The overall young age of the subjects studied (the mean age of the subjects at the end of the observation period was 50.49 years) may also be a factor, as there may be other conditions with increasing age. Since people with ADHD are more likely to make visits to doctors and other health professionals as part of their treatment, there may simply be more people in the non-ADHD group who have a heart condition that hasn’t. diagnosed. If there was an association, it would follow the same pattern as many other psychiatric conditions that have been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

Additional studies are needed to further investigate their findings, but this study is the first to show a possible association between ADHD and heart disease. Its authors suggest that cardiovascular screening should be part of routine ADHD monitoring.