HealthDay News — Paternal depression is associated with a higher risk for depression in offspring, according to a review published online Aug. 16 in JAMA Network Open.
Berihun Dachew, Ph.D., from the enAble Institute at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the correlation between paternal and offspring depression. Data were examined from 16 observational studies published between 2002 and 2021 that included 7,153,723 father-child dyads.
Researchers found that paternal depression was associated with an increased risk for depression in offspring (odds ratio, 1.42) in a meta-analysis. Higher risk was seen for offspring exposed to paternal depressive disorders (odds ratio, 1.65) vs those exposed to depression as defined by a nonclinical symptom scale (odds ratio, 1.12). Consistent pooled estimates ranging from 1.35 to 1.45 were seen in a sensitivity analysis.
“These findings suggest the importance of addressing maternal and paternal mental health issues using a family-focused approach to reduce the adverse effects on offspring mental health and cognitive development rather than the conventional gender-focused approach limited to maternal prenatal and postnatal mental health issues or individual treatment of the offspring,” the authors write.