- Maternal infection requiring hospitalization during pregnancy is linked to increased odds for autism or depression in the child.
Why this matters
- Previous studies have linked maternal infection of varying severity—although usually severe—and in different pregnancy trimesters with risk for autism in the child.
- Autism and depression risk increased with in utero exposure to any maternal infection requiring hospitalization (adjusted HRs; 95% CIs):
- Autism: 1.79 (1.34-2.40); and
- Depression: 1.24 (1.08-1.42).
- Similar values seen with severe maternal infection:
- Autism: 1.81 (1.18-2.78); and
- Depression: 1.24 (0.88-1.73).
- Increases also seen specifically with maternal urinary tract infection (UTI):
- Autism: 1.89 (1.23-2.90); and
- Depression: 1.30 (1.04-1.61).
- No increased risks seen for bipolar disorder, psychosis/schizophrenia.
- Swedish registry study; data for 4,278,146 children born from January 1, 1973 to December 31, 2014.
- Followed for up to 41 years, associations of inpatient diagnoses of neuropsychiatric disorders with maternal infection requiring hospitalization, severe maternal infection, maternal UTI.
- Funding: Foundations, US and Swedish universities, NIH.
- May not translate outside the inpatient setting, which was used for both maternal and child diagnoses in this study.