Methods: 3365 mothers participating in the Prediction and Prevention of Preeclampsia and Intrauterine Growth Restriction (PREDO) study completed the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, the State Anxiety Inventory and the Perceived Stress Scale up to 14 times throughout pregnancy. The Care Register for Health Care provided data on mental and behavioral (including neurodevelopmental) disorders for their children from birth (11/07/2006-07/24/2010) until 12/31/2016 and for parental lifetime mood and anxiety disorders until 12/31/ 2016.
Results: The hazard of any childhood mental and behavioral disorder (HR=1.91, 95% CI: 1.39-2.51) was significantly higher for children whose mothers reported consistently high in comparison to consistently low levels of all types of stress throughout pregnancy. The associations remained significant when adjusted for maternal and paternal lifetime mood and anxiety disorders (and their comorbidity and timing and mood disorder type).
Conclusion: Maternal antenatal stress is associated with higher risk of childhood mental and behavioral disorders. Efforts to reduce maternal antenatal stress should be given a high priority to improve child mental health.
- 515 Psykologi