Haviland MJ, Nillni YI, Fox MP, Savitz DA, Hatch EE, Rothman KJ, Hacker MR, Wang TR, Wise LA. Psychotropic medication use during pregnancy and gestational age at delivery. Ann Epidemiol. 2021 Jan;53:34-41. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2020.08.010.


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between psychotropic medication use during pregnancy and gestational age at delivery, after adjusting for depressive symptom and perceived stress severity.

METHODS: We analyzed data on singleton live births from 2914 female Pregnancy Study Online participants, aged 21 to 45, with a reported conception from 6/2013 to 6/2018. Women reported psychotropic medication use at 8 to 12 weeks' and ~32 weeks’ gestation. We measured depressive symptoms using the Major Depressive Inventory and perceived stress using the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale. Data on gestational age at delivery were based on self-reports and/or birth certificates. We used restricted mean survival time models, stratifying by severity of depressive symptoms (Major Depression Inventory <25 vs. ≥25) and perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale <20 vs. ≥20).

RESULTS: Two hundred and ten (7.2%) participants reported using psychotropic medications during pregnancy. Mean gestational age at delivery among women who never used psychotropic medications was 38.2 weeks (95% confidence interval: 37.7, 38.7), whereas it was 37.3 weeks (95% confidence interval: 36.7, 37.9) among women who used psychotropic medications during pregnancy. Results were similar across strata of depressive symptoms and perceived stress.

CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that the association between psychotropic medication use and gestational age at delivery is not confounded by indication.

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