Several studies have demonstrated that early-onset depression is linked to poor health outcomes. However, whether it is related to specific diseases and premature death is not certain. This study aims to investigate the association of youth depression with subsequent somatic diseases and premature death.

This population-based cohort study included a total of 1,487,964 participants followed since 5 years of age. The research was not subjected to any censoring. The exposure to youth depression, identifying as receiving at least one diagnosis of outpatient care, was taken into consideration. The primary outcomes of the study were somatic conditions, all-cause mortalities, and cause-specific mortalities.

Of the total included participants, 37,185 patients had received outpatient care for depression between 5-19 years of age. The findings suggested that participants with youth depression were at a higher risk for 66 of 69 somatic diseases. The most significant association was found with self-harm injuries, sleep disorders, and viral hepatitis. Youth depression was also associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality (HR 5.9) and cause-specific mortalities, with the leading cause of health being intentional self-harm (HR 14.6).

The research concluded that youth depression was associated with a significantly higher risk of somatic diagnoses and all-cause and cause-specific death.