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US News links chronic illness in kids to "mental health issues"

Jan 15, 2018, US News: For Kids, Chronic Illness May Trigger Mental Health Issues https://health.usnews.com/health-care/articles/2018-01-15/for-kids-chronic-illness-may-trigger-mental-health-issues When children learn they have a long-term illness, such as diabetes or epilepsy, they're likely to suffer emotionally, too, a small study finds. These mental health issues surface soon after the diagnosis, the Canadian researchers said. Surveying 50 kids with a chronic illness and their parents, the study authors found anxiety disorders were most common. "Regardless of their condition, children with physical and mental health problems experience a significant decline in their quality of life within the first six months after receiving their diagnosis," said researcher Mark Ferro. … For the study, the investigators surveyed kids aged 6 to 16 within one month of learning they had asthma, food allergy, epilepsy, diabetes or juvenile arthritis. The researchers also questioned their parents. Parents' responses revealed that 58 percent of the kids were also struggling with at least one mental health issue. This suggests long-term health issues can quickly take a toll on children's well-being, the study authors said. A much smaller percentage of kids self-reported symptoms of a mental health issue (18 percent), according to the study. … Study lead author Alexandra Butler, a graduate student at Waterloo, said that "it is possible that the number is higher very early because there is some uncertainty surrounding the prognosis, or unanswered questions about management and treatment." So, she added, "it is important to not only identify at-risk children early but to also have resources to support them."