Paternal Depression Linked to Depression in Offspring

The risk was higher for offspring exposed to paternal depressive disorders than depression defined by nonclinical symptom scale.

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.

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