Exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors during pregnancy and risk of autism spectrum disorder in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

Kenneth K.C. Man, Henry H.Y. Tong, Lisa Y.L. Wong, Esther W. Chan, Emily Simonoff, Ian C.K. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study is a critical analysis of the association between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) exposure during pregnancy and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) risk in children. Electronic databases were searched for observational studies published from January 1946 to June 2014 related to the association between SSRI exposure during pregnancy and ASD in children. Studies relevant to the association between SSRI exposure during pregnancy and ASD in children were extracted and compiled for meta-analysis evaluation. Ninety-five citations were identified and seven observational studies were included. Four case-control studies were eligible for the meta-analysis and two cohort studies were narratively reviewed. The pooled crude and adjusted odds ratios of the case-control studies were 2.13 (95% CI 1.66-2.73) and 1.81 (95% CI 1.47-2.24) respectively. Low heterogeneity was observed between studies. The two population-based cohort studies, utilizing the same Denmark data set, have conflicting results. The findings of this meta-analysis and narrative review support an increased risk of ASD in children of mothers exposed to SSRIs during pregnancy; however, the causality remains to be confirmed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-89
Number of pages8
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume49
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Pregnancy
  • SSRI
  • Serotonin reuptake inhibitor

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