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Cohort Study
In children 7 years of age, prenatal antidepressant exposure is not associated with increased risk of poor behavioural outcomes after adjusting for maternal factors including antenatal mood
  1. Salvatore Gentile1,2,
  2. Maria Luigia Fusco3
  1. 1 ASL Salerno-Department of Mental Health, Medical School ‘Federico II’—Department of Neurosciences, Cava de’ Tirreni, Italy
  2. 2 Division of Perinatal Psychiatry, University of Naples (Italy), Napoli, Italy
  3. 3 Post-graduate School of Psychotherapy (SIPGI), Mental Health Institute, Torre Annunziata (Naples), Napoli, Italy
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Salvatore Gentile, ASL Salerno, Italy—Department of Mental Health, Piazza Galdi, 1 84013 Cava de’ Tirreni (Salerno) Italy; salvatore_gentile{at}

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Commentary on: Grzeskowiak LE, Morrison JL, Henriksen TB, et al. Prenatal antidepressant exposure and child behavioural outcomes at 7 years of age: a study within the Danish National Birth Cohort. BJOG 2016;123:1919–28.


The effect of prenatal antidepressant exposure or untreated maternal depression on child behaviour is an emerging field of research in perinatal psychiatry. This study attempts to clarify the impact of prenatal antidepressant exposure on long-term child outcomes, accounting for antenatal maternal factors, including depression.


This study was conducted using data from 49 178 mother–child dyads enrolled in the Danish National Birth Cohort—a nationwide longitudinal follow-up study of pregnant women and their children. The overall cohort includes more than 100 000 women who were pregnant between 1996 and 2002. Maternal depression and medication use was assessed via self-report using computer-assisted telephone interviews conducted during pregnancy. Children were categorised as: born to depressed women who took antidepressants during pregnancy (n=210); born to untreated depressed women (n=231) and …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.