Pregnancy complications haunt offspring. (Increased Anxiety, Depression).
1 July 2003
Clinical Psychiatry News
ISSN: 0270-6644; Volume 31; Issue 7
Copyright 2003 Gale Group Inc. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT 2003 International Medical News Group
SAN FRANCISCO -- Selected pregnancy complications are associated with increased risks of anxiety disorders and depression several decades later in young adulthood, Dr. Jan Oystein Berle said at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. This observation from the Norwegian Nord-Trondelag Health Study (HUNT) implies that subtle impairment of neurodevelopment because of intrauterine growth restriction may be an important risk factor for affective and anxiety disorders in later life, according to Dr. Berle, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the University of Bergen (Norway).
In the HUNT study all residents of Nord-Trondelag County, Norway aged 20 years and older, were invited to participate in a health screening during 1995-1997. Dr. Berle focused on the 8,269 participants aged 20-30 years who were screened for psychiatric symptoms using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). He and his coinvestigators retrieved birth data for all of these participants from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway Individuals who were small for gestational age (SCA) were 37% more likely to meet HADS criteria for an anxiety disorder and! or depression as young adults than participants who hadn't been SGA. Adjustment for gender, education, and socioeconomic status attenuated this association only slightly as SGA individuals were at an adjusted 29% increased risk of depression and/or an anxiety disorder.
HUNT participants whose gestation was marked by preeclampsia had an adjusted 35% increased relative risk of subsequent adult anxiety and/or depression. However, a gestation lasting less than 37 weeks showed only a nonsignificant trend toward increased risk of psychiatric disease in adulthood, and birth weight less than 2,500 g wasn't associated with any increased risk whatsoever.