Maternal Perinatal Depression Tied to Offspring Psychotic Experiences in Adolescence

Sarfaroj Khan 

June 11, 2020

Takeaway

  • Maternal depression during pregnancy and the postnatal period is associated with offspring psychotic experiences during adolescence.

  • This association is independent of the association with offspring depression.                                                 

Why this matters

  • Findings highlight the importance of identification and treatment of maternal depression during pregnancy and in the postnatal period.

Study design

  • This longitudinal study included 9204 mothers and 3067 offspring using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children ( ALSPAC) study.

  • Maternal perinatal depression and offspring psychotic experiences were measured using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and the Psychosis-Like Symptom Interview, respectively.

  • Funding: UK Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.

Key results

  • Offspring of mothers with higher antenatal EPDS score were more likely to have had psychotic experiences at 18 years of age (adjusted OR for a 5-point increase in EPDS score, 1.26; P=.0074).

  • Maternal postnatal depressive symptoms were associated with offspring psychotic experiences at 18 years of age (OR for a 5-point increase in EPDS score, 1.25; P=.0067).

  • However, this association attenuated after adjustment for covariates (aOR for a 5-point increase in EPDS score, 1.17, P=.065).

  • Maternal antenatal depression symptoms were associated with offspring depression at 18 years of age (OR for a 5-point increase in EPDS score, 1.18; P=.016).

  • There was no evidence that the association between maternal antenatal depression and offspring psychotic experiences differed in strength compared with offspring depression (P=.19)

Limitations

  • Selection bias.

  • Study was unable to examine the differential effects of maternal antenatal and postnatal depression because of the correlation between them.

Srinivasan R, Pearson RM, Johnson S, Lewis G, Lewis G. Maternal perinatal depressive symptoms and offspring psychotic experiences at 18 years of age: a longitudinal study. Lancet Psychiatry. 2020;7(5):431-440. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30132-2. PMID: 32353278 Abstract. 

This clinical summary first appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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