Maternal illness during pregnancy

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

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 finds a medium to large increased risk of bipolar disorder after exposure to maternal influenza during pregnancy. However, 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 urinary tract infections, herpes simplex virus 2, hypertensive problems, or maternal diabetes.

October 2021

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Last updated at: 3:58 pm, 21st April 2022
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