Treated, Untreated Bipolar in Pregnancy Linked to Complications

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Treatment with mood-stabilizing drugs is likely not the sole reason for the increased risk for adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes in women with bipolar disorder (BD), new research shows.

A population-based cohort study conducted by investigators from Uppsala University and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden showed that treated and untreated mothers with BD had increased risks for cesarean delivery, instrumental delivery, and a nonspontaneous start to delivery. Both groups also had increased risk for preterm birth compared with all other women giving birth.

“Women with bipolar disorder, regardless of treatment with mood stabilizers, were at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes such as delivering a preterm infant. Moreover, infants of women with untreated bipolar disorder were at increased risk of microcephaly and neonatal hypoglycaemia,” the researchers, led by Robert Boden, MD, write.

by Caroline Cassels

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