Associations between self-reported symptoms of prenatal maternal infection and post-traumatic stress disorder in offspring: evidence from a prospective birth cohort study

Betts, Kim S., Salom, Caroline L., Williams, Gail M., Najman, Jakob M. and Alati, Rosa (2015) Associations between self-reported symptoms of prenatal maternal infection and post-traumatic stress disorder in offspring: evidence from a prospective birth cohort study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 175 241-247. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2015.01.011

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Author Betts, Kim S.
Salom, Caroline L.
Williams, Gail M.
Najman, Jakob M.
Alati, Rosa
Title Associations between self-reported symptoms of prenatal maternal infection and post-traumatic stress disorder in offspring: evidence from a prospective birth cohort study
Journal name Journal of Affective Disorders   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0165-0327
1573-2517
Publication date 2015-04-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jad.2015.01.011
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 175
Start page 241
End page 247
Total pages 7
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective

Consistent evidence has linked a range of prenatal maternal infections with psychotic disorders in later life. However, the potential for this exposure to impact more common disorders requires further investigation.

Methods

Participants came from the Mater University Study of pregnancy, a longitudinal, pre-birth cohort study which recruited pregnant mothers from a Brisbane hospital between 1981 and 1984. At age 21, 2439 offspring completed the CIDI-Auto. Multivariate logistic regression was used to investigate associations of self-reported symptoms of prenatal infection with a range of DSM-IV anxiety and affective diagnoses, while also testing for gender interactions.

Results

In multivariate analyses, self-reported symptoms of prenatal genital infection predicted Post-traumatic stress disorders (OR=2.38, 95% CI: 1.14, 4.95) and social phobias (OR=1.93, 95% CI: 1.03, 3.61), in addition to evidence for a gender interaction by which males (OR=6.04, 95% CI: 2.00, 18.30) but not females were at greater risk for PTSD. Further analyses among those with PTSD revealed the relationship to be stronger when excluding those not exposed to trauma (OR=3.21, 95% CI: 1.53, 6.72).

Limitations

We were unable to clinically or serologically verify the presence and the type of prenatal genital infection.

Conclusion

This is the first study to show an association between self-reported symptoms of prenatal genital infections and two highly prevalent anxiety disorders among adult offspring. The relationship with PTSD was particularly strong and suggested that the exposure may primarily impact PTSD in males. Further research with the capacity to assess a fuller-range of specific prenatal infections is warranted to evaluate the potential of reducing the prevalence of these disorders.
Keyword Prenatal genital infection
Psychiatric disorders
PTSD
Social phobias
Gender interaction
Prospective birth cohort
Depression like behaviors
Major affective disorder
Interview CIDI-Auto
Adult schizophrenia
Influenza epidemic
Anxiety disorders
Reproductive infections
Bipolar disorder
States inventory
Life events
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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