While the association between adverse pre- and postnatal exposure and offspring health is well established, it is unclear whether exposure to a greater number of prenatal adversities affects subsequent mental health risk. The ARCH Lab recently contributed to a study titled “Exploring Links Between Prenatal Adversity and Adolescent Psychiatric Risk in a Canadian Population-Based Sample” which aimed to gain a better understanding of maternal health problems prenatally and its association with psychiatric morbidity risk in adolescents.
The study used data from the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study. The results showed that exposure to prenatal adversity in the form of maternal health problems was correlated with an increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety disorders in adolescence. Future work should focus on closely monitoring of those exposed to prenatal risks to avoid later psychiatric morbidity in youth.