Smoking During Pregnancy May Be Tied to Bipolar Disorder in Adult Child

by Jenny Novac on October 9, 2013


New study found that kids of women who smoked during their pregnancy may be at higher risk for developing bipolar disorder in their adult age. The findings were published October 1 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental disease that causes frequent mood swings. Symptoms of the condition usually are observed in the late teenage.

Researchers examined 79 individuals with bipolar disorder and 654 individuals without it who were born between 1959 and 1966. It was revealed that people born by women who smoked cigarettes during their pregnancy had a two times higher risk of developing bipolar disorder.

This is the first research that showed the connection between bipolar disorder and exposure to tobacco smoke in the uterus.

Though the latest research found a connection between maternal smoking and higher risk of bipolar disease in young children, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.  A research made previously has revealed that smoking during pregnancy causes many health problems in kids, including low birth weight and attention problems.

Senior author of the study Dr. Alan Brown, a professor of clinical psychiatry and epidemiology at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University and Mailman School of Public Health says that the new findings do emphasize the importance of constant public health education on the negative effects smoking has on fetus.

The previous research made by Brown and his team revealed that flu virus in pregnant females was connected with a high risk of development of bipolar disorder in their child.

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