Children with Chronic Illness Have Higher Risk of Mental Illness in Adolescence

A new study from the Queen Mary University of London, UK, suggests that children who have long-term health conditions in childhood are at higher risk to develop a mental illness in early adolescence compared to healthy children.Children with Chronic Illness Have Higher Risk of Mental Illness in Adolescence

For the study, a team of researchers analyzed a sample of approximately 7000 children to investigate the occurrence of mental health disorders, such as anxiety or depression, as well as a chronic illness.

Study author Dr. Ann Mary Brady says: “Chronic illness disrupts children's normal lives, and this can affect their development and wellbeing. Even children with asthma, a generally treatable and less debilitating chronic condition, had higher rates of mental illness than the healthy children in our study. If children with chronic conditions are more likely to miss school, or experience bullying, that can make the situation worse. Keeping an eye on school attendance and looking out for evidence of bullying amongst children with chronic illness may help to identify those who are most at risk.”

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