Postnatal Depression and Anxiety Tied to Mental Disorders in Offspring

Pavankumar Kamat

Disclosures

March 15, 2022

Takeaway

  • The offspring of mothers with postnatal depression had an increased risk of anxiety at 10 years of age, whereas the offspring of mothers with postnatal anxiety had an increased risk of psychotic experiences at 12 or 13 years of age.

Why This Matters

  • Findings suggest that screening for postnatal depression and anxiety may help identify women whose children are at risk of developing a psychiatric disorder.

Study Design

  • The study included 14,054 and 13,892 mothers with postnatal depression and postnatal anxiety, respectively, identified from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).

  • The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the Crown-Crisp Index were used to assess maternal postnatal depression and anxiety at 8 weeks.

  • Funding: UK Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.

Key Results

  • Maternal postnatal depression was associated with an increased risk of anxiety in offspring at 10 years of age (adjusted OR [aOR] 1.039; 95% CI 1.005 to 1.073; P=0.022).

  • Similarly, maternal postnatal anxiety was linked to an increased risk of psychotic experiences in offspring at 12 or 13 years of age (aOR 1.042; 95% CI 1.008 to 1.077; P=0.016).

  • The associations remained significant even after adjustment for potential confounders.

Limitations

  • Certain factors such as obstetric complications could not be controlled for

  • The majority of the participants were White British.

Morales-Munoz I, Ashdown-Doel B, Beazley E, Carr C, Preece C, Marwaha S. Maternal postnatal depression and anxiety and the risk for mental health disorders in adolescent offspring: Findings from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children cohort. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2022 Mar 02 [Epub ahead of print]:48674221082519. doi: 10.1177/00048674221082519. PMID: 35234057 View abstract.

Comments

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