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Mental health conditions prevalent in paediatric patients with hyperthyroidism

04 Nov 2019

Hyperthyroidism in paediatric patients is associated with an increased likelihood of being diagnosed with mental health conditions (MHCs) such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), adjustment disorder, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression and suicidality, a study suggests.

Researchers used data from the Military Health System Data Repository and calculated the prevalence of hyperthyroidism and MHCs in military beneficiaries between 10 and 18 years old who were eligible to receive care for at least 1 month.

Hyperthyroidism was diagnosed in 1,894 female patients and 585 male patients. Of note, more patients with vs without hyperthyroidism had comorbid MHCs. The prevalence ratios were 1.7 for ADHD, 2.5 for adjustment disorder, 3.4 for depression, 3.6 for anxiety, 4.8 for suicidality and 4.9 for bipolar disorder.

Except for suicidality, MHC diagnosis was more likely to be established prior to the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism. This is especially true among patients with ADHD (68.3 percent).

The present data underscore the importance of evaluating paediatric patients with overlapping symptoms, the researchers said. This also points to the need for effective mental health screening tools and resources so that clinicians can better recognize and treat a potential coinciding hyperthyroidism diagnosis.

The researchers also added that thyroid disorder be considered in patients presenting with a positive screen result for anxiety or depression or symptoms suggestive of another mental health condition.

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