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Study examines association between birth weight, risk of developing psychiatric disorders in adulthood

February 06, 2019

Bottom Line: It is unclear if the associations between fetal growth as indicated by birth weight and later mental health conditions remain after taking into account family-related factors that could affect these conditions. This study included more than 500,000 pairs of siblings who were part of a register in Sweden since birth and were followed up to an average age of 27 years. After controlling for family-related factors that could influence the outcomes, lower birth weight (adjusted for gestational age) was associated with a small but significant increased risk for several psychiatric disorders, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. A potential limitation of the study is that the registers only included individuals with more severe forms of these conditions.

Authors: Erik Pettersson, Ph.D., Karolinska lnstitutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and coauthors

(doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.4342)

Editor's Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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JAMA Psychiatry

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