A new study published this week in The BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal) is raising questions on the possible link between use of antidepressants during pregnancy and whether children have higher risk of developing certain physical or mental disorders. In the case of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the issue may not be exposure to the drugs themselves, as researchers once believed. Women with depression appear more likely to have children with ADHD, even if they don’t take antidepressants during pregnancy, according to this new study. Researchers said the supposed link between antidepressant use in pregnancy and childhood ADHD may be better explained by understanding the long-term effects of maternal depression.
The study focused on some 190,618 children born in Hong Kong between 2001 and 2009, comparing outcomes for kids born to mothers who had been treated for depression during pregnancy to those who were only treated before pregnancy. Researchers found that the risk of developing ADHD was the same — roughly three percent — whether or not the child had been exposed to SSRIs in utero. Other medications carried higher risks: women who used other antidepressants were 59 percent more likely to have children with ADHD, according to the study.
In addition, the Hong Kong study found that mothers with psychiatric problems, including depression, were 84 percent more likely to have children with ADHD than mothers without mental health problems.
13- 24% of women suffer depression in pregnancy. How does this effect infant mental health? Preconception Stressful Life Events #CDAAC2017
— DMosMc (@DanaMosMc) May 12, 2017
Of course, whether to medicate depression during pregnancy…