Obstetric complications and subsequent risk of mood disorders for offspring in adulthood: a comprehensive overview

Marta Serati, Vincenzo Bertino, Maria Rosaria Malerba, Francesco Mucci, Jennifer L. Barkin, Silvia Grassi, A. Carlo Altamura, Massimiliano Buoli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: A number of studies reported obstetric complications (OCs) to be a risk factor for the development of psychiatric conditions in the adulthood, including mood disorders. Aim: The aim of this study was to review the literature about the link between OCs during the perinatal period (items of Lewis–Murray scale) and the future risk of developing a mood disorder in adulthood, such as the major depressive disorder (MDD) or the bipolar disorder (BD). Methods: A research in the main database sources has been conducted to obtain an overview of the association mentioned above. Results: Few studies have investigated the role of OCs in the development of mood disorders in adulthood. The most robust evidence is that low birth weight (LBW) and preterm birth may be risk factors for the development of MDD in the future, even if some of the available data come from studies with small sample sizes or a retrospective design. Conclusion: OCs may confer a risk of developing mood disorders in adulthood. Future research should confirm these preliminary findings and clarify if other obstetric or neonatal complications (e.g. cyanosis or newborn epileptic seizures) may have a role in the future onset of mood disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-478
JournalNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • bipolar disorder
  • major depressive disorder
  • Obstetric complications
  • overview

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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