Monday, 9 March 2015

Depression During Pregnancy Linked to Child's Asthma Risk


Older, but not newer, antidepressants showed similar increased odds for respiratory condition, study found

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Tara Haelle

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A child may face an increased risk of asthma if the child's mother experienced depression during her pregnancy or she took an older antidepressant to treat her condition, new research suggests.

However, more than 80 percent of the women in the study who were prescribed antidepressants were given one of a newer class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). And those medications were not linked to any increased risk for asthma in the child.

"How maternal depression affects asthma risk in the offspring is unknown, but the mechanism could involve hormone changes or changes in lifestyles," said study lead author Dr. Xiaoqin Liu, an epidemiologist at Aarhus University in Denmark. "The most significant finding in our study is that we found that [overall] antidepressant use during pregnancy did not increase the risk of asthma in general."

But it was a different story when the researchers looked only at older antidepressants, known as tricyclic antidepressants. They were linked to the same level of increased risk for asthma as depression during pregnancy, the researchers said. In the study, roughly 8 percent of the women took the older medications.

Some examples of these older antidepressants include Norpramin (desipramine), Tofranil (imipramine) and Pamelor (nortriptyline).

Depression affects between 7 percent and 13 percent of pregnant women, according to background information in the study, and antidepressant use during pregnancy has risen in recent years.

SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed medications for depression. Some examples of SSRIs include Zoloft (sertraline), Prozac (fluoxetine) and Celexa (citalopram).

Liu and her team analyzed the medical records of more than 733,000 Danish children born between 1996 and 2007. More than 21,000 of the children's mothers either had a diagnosis of depression or received a prescription for antidepressants while they were pregnant.

Children born to mothers who had depression were 25 percent more likely to develop childhood asthma, the findings revealed.

Among the nearly 9,000 children whose mothers were prescribed antidepressants during pregnancy, the children of those women who received older antidepressants had a 26 percent increased risk of asthma.

source : Depression During Pregnancy Linked to Child's Asthma Risk

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