Maternal illness during pregnancy

How is maternal illness during pregnancy related to risk for bipolar disorder?

Maternal illness during pregnancy, particularly involving infectious agents has been associated with brain and behavioural abnormalities in the offspring, and so have been investigated as possible risk factors for bipolar disorder.

What is the evidence for maternal illness during pregnancy as a risk factor for bipolar disorder?

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests a medium to large effect of increased risk of bipolar disorder after exposure to maternal influenza during pregnancy, although when the trimesters were analysed separately, the effect remained significant only in the third trimester, and results were found in only one study.

There were no associations between risk of bipolar disorder and exposure to maternal urinary tract infections, herpes simplex virus 2, hypertensive illness or maternal diabetes.

April 2019

Last updated at: 4:00 am, 4th April 2019
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