Children with Cushing syndrome may have higher suicide risk
NIH study finds that depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts increase after treatment.
Children with Cushing syndrome may be at higher risk for suicide as well as for depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions long after their disease has been successfully treated, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health.
Cushing syndrome results from high levels of the hormone cortisol. Long-term complications of the syndrome include obesity, diabetes, bone fractures, high blood pressure, kidney stones and serious infections. Cushing’s syndrome may be caused by tumors of the adrenal glands or other parts of the body that produce excess cortisol. It also may be caused by a pituitary tumor that stimulates the adrenal glands to produce high cortisol levels. Treatment usually involves stopping excess cortisol production by removing the tumor.
“Our results indicate that physicians who care for young people with Cushing syndrome should screen their patients for depression-related mental illness after the underlying disease has been successfully treated,” said the study’s senior author, Constantine Stratakis, M.D., director of the Division of Intramural Research at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. “Patients may not tell their doctors that they’re feeling depressed, so it’s a good idea for physicians to screen their patients proactively for depression and related conditions.”
This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022