Long-term neuropsychiatric morbidity in children exposed prenatally to preeclampsia

Kira Nahum Sacks, Michael Friger, Ilana Shoham-Vardi, Ruslan Sergienko, Efrat Spiegel, Daniella Landau, Eyal Sheiner

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22 Scopus citations


Introduction: There are contradicting findings in the current literature regarding the association between in-utero exposure to preeclampsia and the long-term neuropsychiatric health of the offspring. The objective of this study is to assess whether prenatal exposure to preeclampsia increases the risk of long-term neuropsychiatric morbidity. Methods: A retrospective population-based cohort study compared neuropsychiatric morbidity between singletons exposed and unexposed to preeclampsia. The study included all the singletons that were born between 1991 and 2014 in a single regional tertiary medical center. A generalized estimating equation (GEE) model was used to control for confounders and maternal clusters. Results: Of the 253,808 singletons that met the inclusion criteria; 3.0% were born to mothers diagnosed with mild preeclampsia (n = 7660), 0.9% with severe preeclampsia (n = 2366) and 0.03% with eclampsia (n = 81). A significant linear association was noted between the severity of the preeclampsia (no preeclampsia, mild, severe preeclampsia and eclampsia) and the incidence of neuropsychiatric morbidity of the offspring (1.0%, vs. 1.2% vs. 1.9% vs. 1.2% respectively, p = 0.003). In a GEE model which was used to control for maternal clusters, gestational diabetes, maternal age, gestational age and time-to-event preeclampsia was found to be an independent risk factor for neuropsychiatric morbidity in the offspring (adjusted OR = 1.36; 95% CI 1.14–1.63). Conclusion: Offspring exposed prenatally to preeclampsia have a significantly higher risk of developing a neuropsychiatric morbidity during childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-100
Number of pages5
JournalEarly Human Development
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • Autism
  • Eating disorders
  • Epidemiology
  • Epilepsy, cerebral palsy, preeclampsia


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