[Skip to Navigation]
February 1993

Pregnancy/Delivery Complications and Psychiatric Diagnosis: A Prospective Study

Author Affiliations

From the Harvard Program in Psychiatric Epidemiology, Departments of Epidemiology (Drs Buka and Tsuang), Psychiatry (Drs Buka and Tsuang), and Maternal and Child Health (Dr Buka), Harvard University, Boston, Mass; the Psychiatry Services and Center for Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Brockton-West Roxbury Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Brockton, Mass (Dr Tsuang); and the Child Study Center, Brown University, Providence, RI (Drs Buka, Tsuang, and Lipsitt).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993;50(2):151-156. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1993.01820140077009

• We examined the hypothesis that pregnancy and delivery complications result in increased risk for the development of psychiatric disorders. The study sample included 1068 pregnancies classified as chronic fetal hypoxia, other complications, preterm birth, or normal pregnancy/delivery that had initially been studied prospectively from the prenatal period through age 7 years. Subjects were recontacted (ages 18 to 27 years) and lifetime psychiatric diagnoses made with the Diagnostic Interview Schedule. Preterm subjects had significantly higher rates of cognitive impairment. Subjects with chronic fetal hypoxia had higher rates of both cognitive impairment and psychotic disorders, although these differences failed to reach statistical significance due to the small number of cases. With these exceptions, the data did not support the hypothesis that rates of psychiatric disorders are higher among subjects born with complications of pregnancy and delivery than among normal controls born without complications.

Add or change institution