Previous research has suggested increased psychopathology in prenatally DES-exposed persons
1993 Study Abstract
Previous research has suggested increased psychopathology in prenatally diethylstibestrol (DES)-exposed persons. The current study compares the psychiatric histories and social functioning of 27 men with a history of high-dose prenatal DES exposure and their unexposed brothers. We expected DES subjects to show greater lifetime psychopathology and poorer social functioning than controls. Both groups showed high rates of lifetime depression, lifetime alcoholism, and current psychiatric symptoms in excess of community norms. The only diagnosis on which DES subjects exceeded their unexposed brothers was Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). DES-exposed men had almost twice the prevalence of at least one episode of MDD and had significantly more recurrent episodes. The relatively small number of subjects with concomitant lack of statistical power may have contributed to the difficulty obtaining significant effects.
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Psychopathology and social functioning in men prenatally exposed to diethylstilbestrol, Pillard RC, Rosen LR, Meyer-Bahlburg H, Weinrich JD, Feldman JF, Gruen R, Ehrhardt AA., Psychosom Med. 1993 Nov-Dec;55(6):485-91, NCBI PMID: 8310108, 1993.
Further assessment of the long-term risk of breast cancer associated with DES during pregnancy
1993 Study Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Further assessment of the long-term risk of breast cancer associated with diethylstilbestrol (DES) during pregnancy.
DESIGN: Follow-up continuation through June 1, 1989, of a historical cohort of DES-exposed and unexposed mothers ascertained by review of obstetric records.
PARTICIPANTS: Totals of 3029 each of DES-exposed and unexposed mothers who had delivered live babies at four centers in the United States during 1940 through 1960. Questionnaires were returned for 92.6% of the DES-exposed and 88.8% of the unexposed women.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Breast cancer incidence and mortality assessed from returned questionnaires and review of medical records and death certificates.
MAIN RESULTS: The relative rate of breast cancer associated with DES exposure, after adjustment for demographic and reproductive variables, was 1.35 (95% confidence interval, 1.05 to 1.74). For 30 years or more following exposure, the relative rate was not appreciably higher (relative rate, 1.33; 95% confidence interval, 0.95 to 1.87) than that in earlier periods. Surveillance and increased detection seemed unlikely explanations for the increased risk, since DES-exposed women had excesses of both large and small breast cancers and the two cohorts reported similar breast cancer detection practices. A history of miscarriage before first term delivery was not associated with breast cancer occurrence.
CONCLUSION: Exposure to DES during pregnancy is associated with a modest but statistically significant increased risk of breast cancer. Contrary to prior indications, the risk does not appear to increase greatly over time. The findings are sufficient to exclude the possibility of a doubling of risk for the period of 30 or more years following exposure.
Breast cancer in mothers prescribed diethylstilbestrol in pregnancy. Further follow-up., Colton T1, Greenberg ER, Noller K, Resseguie L, Van Bennekom C, Heeren T, Zhang Y. NCBI PMID: 8468763. 1993 Apr 28;269(16):2096-100.
The physical and psychological impact of the problems associated with DES exposure are well documented
1993 Study Abstract
Accumulating evidence in experimental animals over the past three decades suggests that mammalian brain development and differentiation of the central nervous system are influenced by perinatal exposure to sex hormones. Hence, changes in human behavioral patterns may be associated with prenatal exposure to estrogenic substances such as diethylstilbestrol (DES). This paper reviews relevant studies from a series of laboratories and finds that no clear-cut differences can be demonstrated to date between unexposed and DES-exposed women in gender-related behavior, although the physical and psychological impact of the problems associated with exposure to DES are well documented. If both prenatal and postnatal influences such as social, economic, and environmental factors are taken into consideration, individual variation is more apparent than differences in gender-related behavior between unexposed and DES-exposed women. In summary, gender-related behavior is determined by a complex array of interacting factors, and prenatal influences are only one of many developmental events. More studies are needed using larger populations with carefully controlled selection criteria to suggest a direct role of prenatal DES exposure on subsequent gender-related behavior.