• Risk of affective disorders following prenatal exposure to severe life events: a Danish population-based cohort study.

      Khashan, Ali S; McNamee, Roseanne; Henriksen, Tine B; Pedersen, Marianne G; Kenny, Louise C; Abel, Kathryn M; Mortensen, Preben B; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University College , Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. a.khashan@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of prenatal exposure to severe life events on risk of affective disorders in the offspring. METHODS: In a cohort of 1.1 million Danish births from May 1978 until December 1997, mothers were considered exposed if one (or more) of their close relatives died or was diagnosed with serious illness up to 6 months before conception or during pregnancy. Offspring were followed up from their 10th birthday until their death, migration, onset of affective disorder or 31 December 2007; hospital admissions were identified by linkage to the Central Psychiatric Register. Log-linear Poisson regression was used for data analysis. RESULTS: The risk of affective disorders was increased in male offspring whose mothers were exposed to severe life events during the second trimester (adjusted RR 1.55 [95% CI 1.05-2.28]). There was an increased risk of male offspring affective disorders in relation to maternal exposure to death of a relative in the second trimester (adjusted RR 1.74 [95% CI 1.06-2.84]) or serious illness in a relative before pregnancy (adjusted RR 1.44 [95% CI 1.02-2.05]). There was no evidence for an association between prenatal exposure to severe life events and risk of female offspring affective disorders. CONCLUSIONS: Our population-based study suggests that prenatal maternal exposure to severe life events may increase the risk of affective disorders in male offspring. These findings are consistent with studies of populations exposed to famine and earthquake disasters which indicate that prenatal environment may influence the neurodevelopment of the unborn child.
    • Undiagnosed coeliac disease in a father does not influence birthweight and preterm birth.

      Khashan, Ali S; Kenny, Louise C; McNamee, Roseanne; Mortensen, Preben B; Pedersen, Marianne G; McCarthy, Fergus P; Henriksen, Tine B; Anu Research Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College, Cork, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Ireland. a.khashan@ucc.ie (2012-01-31)
      There is conflicting evidence regarding the effect of coeliac disease (CD) in the father on birthweight and preterm birth. We investigated the association between paternal CD and birthweight and preterm birth. Medical records of all singleton live-born children in Denmark between 1 January 1979 and 31 December 2004 were linked to information about parents' diseases. Fathers who were diagnosed with CD were then identified. Fathers with CD were considered treated if they were diagnosed before pregnancy and untreated if they were diagnosed after the date of conception. The outcome measures were: birthweight, small-for-gestational age (birthweight<10th centile for gestational age) and preterm birth (<37 weeks). We compared the offspring of men without CD (n = 1 472 352) and offspring of those with CD [untreated (n = 138) and treated (n = 473)]. There was no significant association between untreated CD in the father and birthweight (adjusted mean difference = -3 g; [95% CI -46, 40]) or preterm birth (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 0.86, [95% CI 0.53, 1.37]) (compared with no CD). There was some evidence for an association between treated paternal CD and birthweight (adjusted mean difference = -81 g; [95% CI -161, -3]), but not preterm birth (adjusted OR = 1.76, [95% CI 0.95, 3.26]). Untreated paternal CD was not associated with an increased risk of reduced birthweight, or of preterm birth. There was some evidence that diagnosis and presumed treatment of paternal CD with a gluten-free diet is associated with reduced birthweight.