Mental illness in your 20s and 30s linked to higher chance of heart attacks and strokes

Individuals in their 20s and 30s with mental disorders face a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke, according to a study published April 28 in the European Journal of Cardiology.

Using the Korean National Health Insurance Service database, the study examined the health insurance data of patients ranging in age from 20 to 39 who underwent general health examinations between 2009 and 2012 and had no history of stroke or heart attack. 

The researchers then analyzed the cohort's data through December of 2018 for new incidents of stroke and heart attack.

Roughly 13 percent of participants had some type of mental disorder, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, somatoform disorder, substance use disorder, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or personality disorders.

The study found that the individuals with mental disorders were 58 percent more likely to have a heart attack and 42 percent more likely to have a stroke than other participants with no mental disorder.

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