Pregnancy Risks Up for Women With Bipolar Disorder

Risks of C-section, preterm birth, microcephalic and hypoglycemic infants up for treated, untreated

FRIDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- For women with bipolar disorder, the risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes are increased, regardless of whether they are treated or not, according to a study published online Nov. 8 in BMJ.

Robert Bodén, M.D., Ph.D., from Uppsala University in Sweden, and colleagues examined the risks of adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes for 320 women with treated and 554 with untreated bipolar disorder during pregnancy, compared with 331,263 pregnant women without bipolar disorder.

Compared to 20.7 percent of women without bipolar disorder, the researchers found that 30.9 percent of untreated women and 37.5 percent of treated women were induced or had a planned cesarean delivery (odds ratios [ORs], 1.57 and 2.12, respectively). There was a 50 percent increase in the risk of preterm birth for treated and untreated women. Compared with the rate in women without bipolar disorder (2.3 percent), significantly more untreated and treated women had a microcephalic infant (3.9 percent [OR, 1.68] and 3.3 percent [OR, 1.26], respectively). In addition, 4.3 percent of infants of untreated women and 3.4 percent of infants of treated women had neonatal hypoglycemia, compared to 2.5 percent of infants of women without bipolar disorder (ORs, 1.51 and 1.18, respectively). The differences between treated and untreated women were not significant.

"Bipolar disorder in women during pregnancy, whether treated or not, was associated with increased risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes," the authors write.

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