Mass General Hospital

Harvard Medical School

Weekly Roundup for October 6, 2017: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

Some interesting articles this week: understanding the impact of anxiety disorders on pregnancy outcomes (Yonkers et al), impact of antenatal exposure to antidepressants during pregnancy on risk of subsequent psychiatric illness in the child (Liu et al), and a look at risk for substance abuse disorders during pregnancy (

Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD


Rasmussen MH, Strøm M, Wohlfahrt J, Videbech P, Melbye M.

Risk, treatment duration, and recurrence risk of postpartum affective disorder in women with no prior psychiatric history: A population-based cohort study.  PLoS Med. 2017 Sep 26;14(9):e1002392. Free Article

One episode of postpartum depression dramatically increases risk for subsequent episodes.


Antidepressant use during pregnancy and psychiatric disorders in offspring: Danish nationwide register based cohort study.

Liu X, Agerbo E, Ingstrup KG, Musliner K, Meltzer-Brody S, Bergink V, Munk-Olsen T.  BMJ. 2017 Sep 6;358:j3668.   Free Article

Prenatal antidepressant exposure was associated with a small increase risk of psychiatric illness in the exposed children; however,  we cannot rule out the possibility of genetic or environmental factors.  Read more here.  


Association of Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Benzodiazepine Treatment During Pregnancy With Risk of Adverse Birth Outcomes.

Yonkers KA, Gilstad-Hayden K, Forray A, Lipkind HS.

JAMA Psychiatry. 2017 Sep 13.

In this naturalistic study, panic disorder and GAD did not increase risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes.


Manson JE, Aragaki AK, Rossouw JE, et al. Menopausal hormone therapy and long-term all-cause and cause-specific mortality: the Women’s Health Initiative randomized trials. JAMA. 2017; 318:927-938.

Hormone replacement had no impact on all-cause mortality in postmenopausal women.  


Committee Opinion No. 711 Summary: Opioid Use and Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnancy.  Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Aug;130(2):488-489.


The Protective Effect of Pregnancy on Risk for Drug Abuse: A Population, Co-Relative, Co-Spouse, and Within-Individual Analysis.

Kendler KS, Ohlsson H, Svikis DS, Sundquist K, Sundquist J.

Am J Psychiatry. 2017 Oct 1;174(10):954-962.

Rates of drug abuse were lower during pregnancy (unadjusted odds ratio=0.67, 95% CI=0.60, 0.74). Pregnancy was more protective in women with low parental education and without a cohabiting, actively drug-abusing father.


Level of parenting stress in mothers of singletons and mothers of twins until one year postpartum: A cross-sectional study.

De Roose M, Beeckman D, Eggermont K, Vanhouche E, Van Hecke A, Verhaeghe S.  Women Birth. 2017 Sep 20.


Physiological attunement in mother-infant dyads at clinical high risk: The influence of maternal depression and positive parenting.

Hendrix CL, Stowe ZN, Newport DJ, Brennan PA.

Dev Psychopathol. 2017 Sep 19:1-12.

Maternal and infant cortisol levels influence one another in a bidirectional fashion.


Comorbidity of autoimmune thyroid disorders and psychiatric disorders during the postpartum period: a Danish nationwide register-based cohort study.

Bergink V, Pop VJM, Nielsen PR, Agerbo E, Munk-Olsen T, Liu X.

Psychol Med. 2017 Sep 20:1-9.

Women with first-onset autoimmune thyroid disease during the postpartum period were about twice as likely to have first-onset psychiatric illness than women who did not have postpartum autoimmune thyroid disease.

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