CENTER ON BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE
Essential Nutrients-Mood: Research Article
Brown, A.S., van Os, J/, et al. (2000) Relation Between Prenatal
Famine And Major
Affective Disorde. Am J Psychiatry; 157, 2.
Objective: In a previous study,
the authors demonstrated an association between prenatal famine in
middle to late gestation and major affective disorders requiring
hospitalization. In this study, they sought to examine the association
by using newly identified cases from the Dutch birth cohort used
previously to examine the gender specificity of the association and to
assess whether this relation is present for both unipolar and bipolar
Method: The authors compared the
risk of major affective disorder requiring hospitalization in birth
cohorts who were and were not exposed, in each trimester of gestation,
to famine during the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944-1945. These cases of
major affective disorder requiring hospitalization were newly
ascertained from a national psychiatric registry. A larger data set
from this registry was used for analysis by gender and diagnostic
Results: For the newly
ascertained cases, the risk of developing major affective disorder
requiring hospitalization was increased for subjects with exposure to
famine in the second trimester and was increased significantly for
subjects with exposure in the third trimester, relative to unexposed
subjects. For the cases from the entire period of ascertainment, the
risk of developing affective disorder was significantly increased for
those exposed to famine during the second and the third trimesters of
gestation. The effects were demonstrated for men and women and for
unipolar and bipolar affective disorders.
Conclusions: These results
provide support for the authors' previous findings on the association
between middle to late gestational famine and affective disorder.
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