A recent study has revealed that children, especially girls with premature birth, were likely to suffer from depression. A nationwide registry data had displayed that girls born remarkably preterm, earlier than 28 weeks of gestational age, were three times more likely to be diagnosed with depression. Increased risk of depression was also suspected among girls and boys with poor fetal growth, born full-term and post-term.
The study covered 37,682 children born in Finland between January 1987 and December 2007 and diagnosed with depression. They were compared with 148,795 matched controls without depression. As per the results, an increased risk of depression was found in children born ≤ 25 weeks, 26 weeks, at 27 weeks, and ≥ 42 weeks. In girls, premature birth was associated with depression diagnosed at 5 to 12 years and 13 to 18 years. In boys, post-term birth was associated with depression, diagnosed at 19 to 25 years. Poor fetal growth was associated with an increased risk of depression in full-term infants and post-term infants.
In general, depression is recognized as a common psychiatric disorder, reported to affect 1-2% of preschool and prepubertal children and 3-8% of adolescents. However, childhood depression is a critical disorder and its prevention can be advanced with the identification of at-risk groups.
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Subina Upadhyaya, Andre Sourander, Terhi Luntamo, Hanna-Maria Matinolli, Roshan Chudal, Susanna Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki, Svetlana Filatova, Keely Cheslack-Postava, Minna Sucksdorff, Mika Gissler, Alan S. Brown, Liisa Lehtonen. Preterm Birth Is Associated With Depression From Childhood to Early Adulthood. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2020.09.020