Comment 100 of 464, added on May 24th, 2013 at 10:45 PM.
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden, May 17 (UPI) -- In utero exposure to depression
medications may increase the risk of autism spectrum disorders in less than
1 percent of cases, researchers in Sweden say.
First author Dheeraj Rai, a clinical lecturer at the Department of Public
Health Sciences at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues at
the University of Bristol; Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Mental Health NHS
Trust in Bristol, England; and Drexel University School of Public Health on
Philadelphia said the study involved 4,429 cases of autism spectrum
disorder -- 1,828 with and 2,601 without intellectual disability and 43,277
age and sex matched controls.
The study involved 1,679 cases of autism spectrum disorder and 16,845
controls with data on maternal anti-depressant use.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, said parental
depression and other characteristics were recorded in administrative
registers before the birth of the child. Maternal anti-depressant use,
recorded at the first antenatal interview, was available for children born
from 1995 onwards.
A history of maternal -- but not paternal -- depression was associated with
an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders in offspring, the study
said. In the subsample with available data on drugs, this association was
confined to women reporting anti-depressant use during pregnancy
irrespective of whether selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or
non-selective monoamine reuptake inhibitors were reported, the study said.
"Whether this association is causal or reflects the risk of autism with
severe depression during pregnancy requires further research," the study
authors wrote in the study. "However, assuming causality, anti-depressant
use during pregnancy is unlikely to have contributed significantly towards
the dramatic increase in observed prevalence of autism spectrum disorders
as it explained less than 1 percent of cases."