Obstetric Complications and Risk for Severe Psychopathology in Childhood

  • William W. Eaton
  • Preben Bo Mortensen
  • Per Hove Thomsen
  • Morten Frydenberg


The purpose of the study was to assess the association of obstetric complications with risk for mental disorders resulting in hospitalization before the age of 15. Records from all births in Denmark from 1973 through 1993 were linked to records of all psychiatric hospitalizations. Diagnoses were grouped into seven broad categories. A reference population of 10% of births in Denmark from 1973 to 1990 was used for comparison. Obstetric complications were associated with the range of mental disorders occurring in childhood. The strongest predictors were a variable indicating the interaction of birth weight with speed of growth and the 5-minute Apgar score. There was no diagnostic group that stood out as different with respect to obstetric complications. These results are consistent with the hypothesis of the continuum of reproductive casualty.

autism Asperger's Syndrome obstetric complications psychiatric case register 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • William W. Eaton
    • 1
  • Preben Bo Mortensen
    • 2
  • Per Hove Thomsen
    • 3
  • Morten Frydenberg
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Mental Hygiene, School of Hygiene and Public HealthJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore
  2. 2.National Centre for Register-Based ResearchAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Child PsychiatryAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  4. 4.Department of BiostatisticsAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

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