Association between fetal DES-exposure and psychiatric disorders in adolescence/adulthood

Evidence from a French cohort of 1002 prenatally exposed children

2015 STUDY ABSTRACT

Association between fetal DES-exposure and psychiatric disorders in adolescence/adulthood: evidence from a French cohort of 1002 prenatally exposed children, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, The official journal of the International Society of Gynecological Endocrinology, NCBI PubMed PMID: 26172930, 2015 Jul 14.

Image credit JustCallMe_?Bethy?_.

In utero diethylstibestrol (DES) exposure has been demonstrated to be associated with somatic abnormalities in adult men and women. Conversely, the data are contradictory regarding the association with psychological or psychiatric disorders during adolescence and adulthood. This work was designed to determine whether prenatal exposure to DES affects brain development and whether it is associated with psychiatric disorders in male and female adolescents and young adults.

HHORAGES Association, a national patient support group, has assembled a cohort of 1280 women who took DES during pregnancy. We obtained questionnaire responses from 529 families, corresponding to 1182 children divided into three groups:

  1. Group 1 (n?=?180): firstborn children without DES treatment,
  2. Group 2 (n?=?740): exposed children,
  3. and Group 3 (n?=?262): children born after a previous pregnancy treated by DES.

No psychiatric disorders were reported in Group 1. In Group 2, the incidence of disorders was drastically elevated (83.8%), and in Group 3, the incidence was still elevated (6.1%) compared with the general population.

This work demonstrates that prenatal exposure to DES is associated with a high risk of psychiatric disorders in adolescence and adulthood.

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