Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder as a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases

World PsychiatryScott Cunningham MD PhD, et al. | November 16, 2022

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The global prevalence of ADHD in adults is 2.5%.

Adults with ADHD are known to have co-morbid psychiatric and medical conditions, such as anxiety, depression, obesity, and asthma. Similarly, adults with cardiovascular disease are known to have co-morbid psychiatric and medical conditions, including depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, autism, intellectual disabilities, and conduct disorder.

The current study showed that ADHD is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

A nationwide population-based cohort study was conducted in Sweden involving 5,389,519 adults who were born between 1941 and 1983, and had not been diagnosed with any cardiovascular diseases.

Adults with and without a diagnosis of ADHD were followed for incident cardiovascular disease between 2001 and 2013.

After an average follow-up duration of 11.8 y, 38.05% and 23.57% of adults with and without ADHD were diagnosed with > 1 cardiovascular disease.

The HR for cardiovascular disease in adults with ADHD compared to adults without ADHD was 2.05. After adjusting for known cardiovascular risk factors, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, dyslipidemia, and cigarette smoking, the HR for cardiovascular disease in adults with ADHD compared to adults without ADHD was 1.84.

Specifically, the HRs for cardiac arrest, hemorrhagic stroke, and peripheral vascular disease and arteriosclerosis were 2.28, 2.16, and 2.05, respectively.

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