Bipolar Disorder Increases Likelihood of Premature Birth

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Women who have been hosptialized for bipolar disorder are twice as likely to give birth to premature babies.

Simone Vigod, MD, of the Women’s College Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) in Toronto, Canada, and colleagues, examined women previously hospitalized for bipolar disorder (n = 1859) or major depressive disorder (n = 3724). They were then compared against women without any a documented mental illness (n = 432,358).

Women with a history of bipolar disorder were significantly more likely to have a premature baby (adjusted odds ratio 1.95, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.68 to 2.26) and major depressive disorder (AOR 1.91, 95% CI 1.72 to 2.13) compared to women without a history of mental illness,  the researchers reported in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

They also found that babies born to women with bipolar disorder were more likely to have higher rates congenital malformations and be larger for their gestational age. In contrast, babies born to mothers with depression were more likely to be small for their gestational age.

“These risks must be considered in the management of pregnant women with a history of major mood disorders.,” the researchers concluded. “Attention to potentially modifiable risk factors such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension prior to and during pregnancy could reduce the risk for adverse perinatal outcomes.”

Impact of Depression Treatment During Pregnancy Unclear
Bipolar Disorder Increases Likelihood of Premature Birth

New research suggests women who have been hospitalized for bipolar disorder are nearly twice as likely to have premature babies compared to women without a history of mental illness.

The researchers examined the health records of women who delivered a single baby from 2003 to 2011. They compared women previously hospitalized for bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder, to the general population.

Although the study did not examine the causes that led to these findings, the researchers suggest that women may be able to reduce risk to their babies by modifying lifestyle and behavioral factors. 

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