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More Cleft Lip Surgeries at Age 8 to 10 Years Tied to Later Anxiety

Greater number of operations at age 8 to 10 years predicted anxiety, depressive symptoms for teens

cleft lip

TUESDAY, July 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Having an increased number of surgeries between ages 8 and 10 years is associated with increased anxiety and depressive symptoms in teenagers with cleft lip and palate, according to a study published in the July issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Hi'ilani M.K. Potemra, from the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues administered the anger, anxiety, and depressive symptoms instruments from the Pediatric Patient-Report Outcomes Measurement Information System to 55 patients with cleft lip and palate (aged 14 to 17 years) and 14 age-matched unaffected controls. The total number of operations and operations stratified by age groups were examined in relation to instrument scores.

The researchers observed no differences between the groups in overall psychosocial functioning. There was no correlation for total quantity of childhood operations with psychosocial functioning of teenagers with cleft lip and palate. An increased number of operations in the 8- to 10-year-old age range predicted increased anxiety and depressive symptoms in teenagers in multiple linear regression analyses (β = 0.38 and 0.29, respectively).

"In conjunction with our previous work that identified the 8 to 10 age range as a critical at-risk time period for poor psychosocial functioning, we now find that teenagers who had more surgeries during that age range report worse long-term psychosocial functioning," a coauthor said in a statement.

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