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04-28-2022 | Pregnancy | News

News in brief

Maternal type 1 diabetes tied to mental disorders in the next generation

Author: Claire Barnard


medwireNews: Children born to mothers with autoimmune diseases have an elevated risk for mental disorders, with this risk persisting until early adulthood for those born to women with type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis (RA), researchers report.

These findings are based on a study of 2,254,234 children and young people (median age 16.7 years) born in Denmark between 1978 and 2015, of whom 2.26% were born to mothers with an autoimmune disease. Overall, maternal autoimmune disease was associated with a significant 1.16-fold increased risk for mental disorders in offspring during a median follow-up of 17 years, while maternal type 1 diabetes was associated with a 1.24-fold increased risk.

When the children and young people were categorized by age group (1–5, 6–18, and over 18 years), these associations persisted across all age groups for type 1 diabetes and RA.

And analysis of specific mental disorders showed that maternal autoimmune disease was associated with an increased risk for organic disorders, obsessive–compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and mood disorders, as well as childhood neurodevelopmental conditions including autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, in offspring.

Taken together, “[t]hese findings suggest that a wide spectrum of mental disorders should be monitored in offspring of mothers with autoimmune diseases before or during pregnancy and especially for certain maternal autoimmune diseases (eg, type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis),” write Fei Li (Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, China) and colleagues in JAMA Network Open.

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2022 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

JAMA Netw Open 2022; 5: e227503


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