Association between prenatal exposure to a 1-month period of repeated rocket attacks and neuropsychiatric outcomes up through age 9: a retrospective cohort study Original Contribution First Online: 04 November 2019 Abstract
Exposure to gestational stress is implicated in increased risk for neuropsychiatric disorders in offspring. We assessed association between prenatal exposure to a 1-month period of repeated rocket attacks during the 2006 Second Lebanon War in Northern Israel and emergence of childhood neuropsychiatric disorders from birth through 9 years of age. Children born to women who were pregnant during the war (
N = 6999) were identified and compared to children in the same district born a year later ( N = 7054), whose mothers were not exposed to rocket attacks during pregnancy. Multivariable regression models assessed risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, epilepsy, depression and/or anxiety, or any of these disorders (composite outcome) in offspring. Models controlled for multiple confounders including parents' demographics, parity, maternal use of psychotropic medications during pregnancy, post-partum depression and parental psychiatric history. Results show that exposed and comparison groups did not differ with respect to demographics, parity or psychiatric history. Exposed and comparison groups were similar with regard to gestational age and weight at birth. Multivariable models did not demonstrate an association between exposure to rocket attacks during pregnancy and neuropsychiatric outcomes by age 9. No interactions were found between exposure and gestational trimester at exposure or child’s sex. Our findings suggest that in utero exposure to isolated, 1-month repeated rocket attacks on a civilian population was not associated with major neuropsychiatric outcomes in children by age 9. Future studies should evaluate whether this exposure is associated with psychiatric and/or other health-related outcomes later in life. Keywords Gestational stress Neurodevelopment ADHD Autism spectrum disorder Depression Resilience
Ran Barzilay and Gabriella M. Lawrence equally contributed to manuscript preparation.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (
) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-019-01426-1 Notes Funding
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award number K23MH120437.
Compliance with ethical standards Conflict of interest
Dr. Barzilay serves on the scientific board and reports stock ownership in ‘Taliaz Health’, with no conflict of interest relevant to this work. All other authors declare no potential conflict of interest.
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