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Vol 18, No 2 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-03-25
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Effects of depressive and anxiety disorders during pregnancy on gestational age and birth weight: A case-control study

Soraia Antunes Ribeiro1, Daniela Agostinho David2, Ilda Vieira Murta3, João Mariano Marques4, Vítor Daniel Vaz5, Carla Santos Silva3
Psychiatria 2021;18(2):88-91.


Introduction: Depression and anxiety are the most common psychiatric disorders during pregnancy. Several
studies suggest that maternal affective state can negatively affect the fetus, leading to worst neonatal outcomes.
The aim of this study was to compare the frequency of preterm birth (PTB), low birth weight (LBW), lower 1- and
5-minute Apgar scores and admission to neonatal intensive care unit between newborns of women with anxiety/
/depressive disorders and those of women without mental illness.

Material and methods: It was performed a retrospective case-control study with 78 women with anxiety, depression
or both, who were followed in Liaison Psychiatry during pregnancy and gave birth between October
2018 and October 2019. The control group was a random sample of women without mental illness who gave
birth in the same period and institution.

Results: A statistically significant difference (p = 0.039, OR = 2.68) was observed between the frequency of
LBW in the newborns of participants (n = 8, 10.26%) and in those of control group (n = 11, 3.83%). The same
was observed in the mean of birth weight (p = 0.008) and the frequency of admission to neonatal intensive care
unit (p = 0.000, OR = 14.05).

Conclusions: This study showed negative effects of maternal depressive and anxiety disorders in birth weight
and admission to neonatal intensive care unit

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