Purpose of Review
We review here recent original research and meta-analytic evidence on the associations of maternal hypertensive pregnancy disorders and mental and behavioral disorders in the offspring.
Seven meta-analyses and 11 of 16 original research studies published since 2015 showed significant associations between maternal hypertensive pregnancy disorders and offspring mental and behavioral disorders. Evidence was most consistent in meta-analyses and high-quality cohort studies. The associations, independent of familial confounding, were observed on different mental and behavioral disorders in childhood and schizophrenia in adulthood. Preterm birth and small-for-gestational age birth emerged as possible moderators and mediators of the associations. Cross-sectional and case-control studies yielded inconsistent findings, but had lower methodological quality.
Accumulating evidence from methodologically sound studies shows that maternal hypertensive pregnancy disorders are associated with an increased risk of mental and behavioral disorders in the offspring in childhood. More studies on adult mental disorders are needed.