AntiDepressant use during Pregnancy and Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders

Parental Depression, maternal AntiDepressant use during Pregnancy, and Autism Spectrum Disorders Risk

Antidepressant use during Pregnancy and Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders
Prenatal exposure to antidepressant medications, especially during the first trimester, may increase the risk of ASD

Context:
The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has increased over recent years.
Use of antidepressant medications during pregnancy also shows a secular increase in recent decades, prompting concerns that prenatal exposure may contribute to increased risk of ASD.

Objective:
To systematically evaluate whether prenatal exposure to antidepressant medications is associated with increased risk of ASD.

Design:
Population-based case-control study. Medical records were used to ascertain case children and control children and to derive prospectively recorded information on mothers’ use of antidepressant medications, mental health history of mothers, and demographic and medical covariates.

Participants:
A total of 298 case children with ASD (and their mothers) and 1507 randomly selected control children (and their mothers) drawn from the membership of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Northern California.

For Results and Conclusions, read Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy and Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders
The Jama Network, Psychiatry, Nov 2011 – Full PDF.

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