Depression in adolescents, 5 times higher risk of premature death

A large-scale observational study conducted by epidemiologists and biostatisticians at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden found that children and adolescents suffering from depression have a significantly increased risk of premature death and various diseases in the future. The research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association-Psychiatry.

Researchers tracked nearly 1.5 million Swedish girls and boys, of which more than 37,000 were diagnosed with depression at least once between the ages of 5 and 19. When the study ended, they were between 17 and 31 years old. The analysis showed that children and adolescents suffering from depression have an increased risk of 66 diseases, including sleep disorders, type 2 diabetes, and kidney and liver diseases. Compared with people without depression, their risk of injury is significantly higher, especially those caused by self-harm, and the risk of premature death is almost 6 times that of the former. The research results also revealed gender differences. For example, women with early-onset depression are more likely to be injured and have urinary, respiratory, and gastrointestinal infections; men are more likely to suffer from obesity, thyroid problems, celiac disease, connective tissue diseases, and eczema. Other coexisting mental illnesses (such as anxiety and substance abuse) can explain part of the correlation. These mental illnesses often appear in the same patient, so more research is needed to examine the specific impact of each disease.

The research shows that as soon as you find that your child has symptoms of depression, you should seek help from a psychotherapist and psychiatrist as soon as possible. Although depression does not have a big impact suddenly, the hidden harm to children is huge.

The heart also has a biological clock
The heart beats about 2.5 to 3 billion times in a person’s life, and the heart rate of a normal adult at rest is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Affected by factors such as exercise, mood, and physiology, the heartbeat also has a circadian rhythm. Generally, the number of beats per minute at night is less than during the day. Recently, the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom published a new study in the “Heart Rate” magazine, and found the main reason for the slower heartbeat at night, and found that the heart also has a “biological clock.”

For a long time, the vagus nerve has been considered to be the main cause of the slower heart rate at night. The vagus nerve is one of the heart’s autonomic nervous system, which pervades many organs including the heart. The researchers first conducted a comparative experiment on mice and found that the difference in the average heart rate between day and night in mice has nothing to do with exercise. Further studies have shown that the vagus nerve does not directly participate in heart rate changes. It is mainly the heart’s natural pacemaker-the sinus node, which is a special cardiomyocyte that can trigger the heartbeat. It can identify when it is night, and Can slow down the heart rate accordingly. The researchers also found that the human body’s response from the HCN4 protein (a key protein that controls heart rate) can control heart rate changes during the day and night. For patients with severe arrhythmia, the use of the drug ivabradine to block the HCN4 channel may be able to eliminate the body’s heart rate difference between day and night.

The main person in charge of the study said that the sinus node does have its own biological clock, which explains why humans have a slower heart rate at night. For more than 90 years, the daily changes of the body’s heart rate are considered to be the result of more active vagus nerves at night, and understanding the molecular mechanism of the basic functions of the heart is the key to the treatment of complex causes such as heart rate disorders.