(Reuters Health) – Children and young adults with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, and ADHD may be more likely to develop mental illness than youth who don’t have physical health problems, a U.S. study suggests.
Researchers followed more than 48,000 youth without any diagnosed mental health disorders for two years, starting when they were between 6 and 25 years old. Overall, 14.7% had a chronic physical health problem that either limited their ability to navigate daily life or required ongoing treatment.
Overall, 7.8% of the study participants developed a mental health problem over the course of the study. Children and young adults with a chronic physical health problem were 51% more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness than youth without issues like asthma, diabetes, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
“A surprising amount of this difference is explained by limitations in the ability to participate in school, work, and social…
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