Prescription of Psychotropic Drugs required in Adolescence,
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Individuals born preterm have increased risk of mental health impairment compared with individuals born at term. A Study was conducted to compare the prescription of psychotropic drugs in adolescence and young adulthood between those born preterm and those born at term.

This cohort study used registry data to identify all Norwegians born after 23 weeks of completed gestation. Included individuals were those without registered birth defects, alive at age 10 years, and with available maternal data. Psychotropic drug prescriptions received from age 10 to 23 years were compared between preterm groups and peers born at term. Individuals were compared with their siblings to control for shared family confounding.

Gestational age at birth (GA) was categorized in 4 groups:
--Extremely preterm (GA, 23 weeks and 0 days to 27 weeks and 6 days),
--Very preterm (GA, 28 weeks and 0 days to 31 weeks and 6 days),
--Moderately or late preterm (GA, 32 weeks and 0 days to 36 weeks and 6 days), and
--Full term (GA, 37 weeks and 0 days to 44 weeks and 6 days).

Results:
--Among 505030 individuals, 762 individuals were extremely preterm, 2907 individuals were very preterm, 25?988 individuals were moderately or late preterm, and 475?373 individuals were full term.

--Individuals born preterm had increased risk of psychotropic drug prescription, with a dose-response association between GA and prescription.

--The extremely preterm group had higher rates of prescription for all drug types compared with peers born at term, with odds ratios from 1.7 for antidepressants to 2.7 for psychostimulants.

--The elevated odds of prescription of all types were less pronounced in the moderately to late preterm group, including odds ratios of 1.1 for antidepressants and 1.2 for psychostimulants.

--The increases in odds were smaller in the sibling comparison, and increases were not significant for several groups. For example, the OR for any prescription in the sibling analysis was 1.8 in the very preterm group and 1.0 in the moderately or late preterm group.

In conclusion, individuals with all degrees of preterm birth had higher rates of psychotropic drug prescriptions during adolescence and young adulthood than those born at term, according to this cohort analysis. These findings contribute to the increasing body of evidence that preterm birth raises the risk of mental health issues, and that this risk is not limited to the most preterm classes.

Source: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2777424
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