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Offspring psychopathology following preconception, prenatal and postnatal maternal bereavement stress
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, United States.
Centre for Women's Mental Health, Manchester Academic Health Sciences, University of Manchester, United Kingdom .
Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Cork, Ireland .
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, United States.
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2014 (English)In: Psychological Medicine, ISSN 0033-2917, E-ISSN 1469-8978, Vol. 44, no 1, 71-84 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Preconception, prenatal and postnatal maternal stress is associated with increased offspring psychopathology, but findings are inconsistent and need replication. We estimated associations between maternal bereavement stress and offspring autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, suicide attempt and completed suicide.

Method: Using Swedish registers, we conducted the largest population-based study to date examining associations between stress exposure in 738,144 offspring born 1992-2000 for childhood outcomes and 2,155,221 offspring born 1973-1997 for adult outcomes with follow-up to 2009. Maternal stress was defined as death of a first-degree relative during (a) the 6 months before conception, (b) pregnancy or (c) the first two postnatal years. Cox proportional survival analyses were used to obtain hazard ratios (HRs) in unadjusted and adjusted analyses.

Results: Marginal increased risk of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia following preconception bereavement stress was not significant. Third-trimester prenatal stress increased the risk of ASD [adjusted HR (aHR) 1.58, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.15-2.17] and ADHD (aHR 1.31, 95% CI 1.04-1.66). First postnatal year stress increased the risk of offspring suicide attempt (aHR 1.13, 95% CI 1.02-1.25) and completed suicide (aHR 1.51, 95% CI 1.08-2.11). Bereavement stress during the second postnatal year increased the risk of ASD (aHR 1.30, 95% CI 1.09-1.55).

Conclusions: Further research is needed regarding associations between preconception stress and psychopathological outcomes. Prenatal bereavement stress increases the risk of offspring ASD and ADHD. Postnatal bereavement stress moderately increases the risk of offspring suicide attempt, completed suicide and ASD. Smaller previous studies may have overestimated associations between early stress and psychopathological outcomes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, USA: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Vol. 44, no 1, 71-84 p.
Keyword [en]
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, postnatal, preconception, prenatal, psychiatric, psychopathology, schizophrenia, stress, suicide
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Psychiatry Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-54554DOI: 10.1017/S0033291713000780ISI: 000336671400008PubMedID: 23591021Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84889765294OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-54554DiVA: diva2:1064360
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Note

Funding Agencies:

National Institute of Mental Health 

National Institute of Child Health and Development 

Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research

Swedish Society of Medicine Soderstrom-Konigska sjukhemmet

Available from: 2017-01-12 Created: 2017-01-12 Last updated: 2017-01-30Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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