Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We mapped the evidence on the type and strength of associations between a broad range of mental and physical conditions in children and adolescents, by carrying out an umbrella review, i.e., a quantitative synthesis of previous systematic reviews and meta-analyses. We also assessed to which extent the links between mental and physical conditions vary across disorders or, by contrast, are transdiagnostic. Based on a pre-established protocol, we retained 45 systematic reviews/meta-analyses, encompassing around 12.5 million of participants. In analyses limited to the most rigorous estimates, we found evidence for the following associations: ADHD-asthma, ADHD-obesity, and depression-asthma. A transdiagnostic association was confirmed between asthma and anxiety/ASD/depression/bipolar disorder, between obesity and ADHD/ASD/depression, and between dermatitis and ASD/ADHD. We conclude that obesity and allergic conditions are likely to be associated with mental disorders in children and adolescents. Our results can help clinicians explore potential links between mental and physical conditions in children/adolescent and provide a road map for future studies aimed at shading light on the underlying factors.

Original publication




Journal article


Neurosci Biobehav Rev

Publication Date





Mental, Physical, Transdiagnostic, Umbrella review, meta-analysis, Adolescent, Anxiety, Anxiety Disorders, Asthma, Child, Humans, Obesity