Depression during pregnancy may raise risk of psychiatric trouble in kids

October 9, 2013
Researcher says finding suggests the condition should be treated in expectant moms.

(HealthDay)—Teens are more likely to experience depression at age 18 if their mothers were depressed during pregnancy, a new study finds.

The analysis of data from more than 4,500 parents and their teen children in the United Kingdom also found that the risk of depression was higher among the children of with low levels of education who had depression after giving birth—postpartum depression.

The study was published online Oct. 9 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

"The findings have important implications for the nature and timing of interventions aimed at preventing depression in the offspring of ," study author Rebecca Pearson, of the University of Bristol, said in a journal news release. "In particular, the findings suggest that treating in pregnancy, irrespective of background, may be most effective."

Depression in the late teens is a public-health issue worldwide and identifying early life risk factors would help guide prevention and intervention efforts, the researchers said.

More information: The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about depression and high school students.

Journal information: JAMA Psychiatry

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