London, May 13: Risk of anxiety and depression may be high in children later on who are sufferers of chronic physical illness.
“Our results show that childhood chronic physical illness was significantly associated with adult depression in the total sample of more than 45,000 participants we studied,” said senior researcher on the project Darya Gaysina from the University of Sussex in Britain.
Researchers took evidence from a large number of medical studies for associations between eight chronic physical illnesses in childhood, such as arthritis, asthma and cancer, and emotional problems experienced by the sufferers in adult life.
“In particular, we found that cancer was significantly associated with adult depression. Although the research on other chronic conditions is very limited, when we removed cancer from the sample, the link was still there. So it is not only cancer that’s associated with adult emotional problems,” Gaysina said.
Acording to results,chronic illness in youth could be vital in long term and turns into serious mental health issues.
“It seems that if there is a higher risk of mental health issues in adulthood for those with childhood-onset chronic physical illnesses, further in-depth research in this area could help change the way practitioners work with youth with chronic conditions, ensuring that there is as much a focus on the patient’s mental health as their physical health,” Gaysina said