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Investigating the effects of eating disorders during pregnancy on the risk of neurodevelopmental development in infants




Eating disorders are difficult-to-treat behavioral conditions and recurrences are not uncommon. Some experiences, such as pregnancy, where weight gain or loss is part of the discussion at all doctors, may increase the likelihood of recurrence. It is important to understand the impact on the risk of suboptimal outcomes of offspring, even with a history of eating disorders or even active ones. New report We investigated whether eating disorders during pregnancy lead to an increased risk of developing neuropsychiatric disorders.1

Researchers used the Swedish medical birth registration for a population-based prospective cohort study. They identified singleton births registered between January 1990 and December 2012. Children who gave birth to a mother who was diagnosed with an eating disorder were matched with a child who had a mother who was not diagnosed with an eating disorder. All children were followed up from their 1st birthday for autism spectrum disorders and from their 3rd birthday for attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder.

A total of 52,878 children were included in the study. Researchers found that maternal exposure to eating disorders (n = 8813) was associated with an increased risk of attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder ADHD (hazard ratio). [HR] 1.42 for anorexia nervosa [95% CI, 1.23-1.63]HR for bulimia nervosa, 1.91 [95% CI, 1.43-2.54]HR for binge eating disorders, 2.00 [95% CI, 1.72-2.32]) And Autism Spectrum Disorders (HR for anorexia nervosa, 2.04) [95% CI, 1.58-2.63]HR for bulimia nervosa, 2.70 [95% CI, 1.68-4.32]; And binge eating disorder HR, 1.95 [95% CI, 1.49-2.54]). After adjusting for parental confounding factors, the risk of attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder is still significantly increased, but the risk of autism spectrum disorders in children born to mothers with bulimia nervosa is no longer significant. It turned out not. They also found that ongoing cases of anorexia nervosa were associated with a higher risk of attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (HR, 2.52). [95% CI, 1.86-3.42]) And Autism Spectrum Disorders (HR, 3.98) [95% CI, 2.49-6.27]) Compared to medical history (HR, 1.26) [95% CI, 1.06-1.48] And 1.81 [95% CI, 1.38-2.38], Each).

Researchers conclude that children of mothers with eating disorders, especially those who experience eating disorders during pregnancy, are at increased risk of either attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder or autism spectrum disorders. I did.


  1. Mantel A, Örtqvist A, Hirschberg A, Stephansson. Analysis of neurodevelopmental disorders in the offspring of Swedish eating disorder mothers. JAMA Netw Open.. 2022; 5 (1): e2143947. doi: 10.1001 / jamanetworkopen.2021.43947




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