HealthDay News — Women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have an increased risk for new-onset psychiatric diagnosis in the postpartum period, according to a study published online Jan. 10 in Gut.

Simone N. Vigod, MD, from the Women’s College Hospital and Research Institute in Toronto, and colleagues examined the incidence of new-onset mental illness from conception to one-year postpartum for 3721 women with and 798,908 without IBD.

The researchers found that about 22.7% of women with IBD and 20.4% of women without IBD had new-onset mental illness, corresponding to incidence rates of 150.2 and 132.8 per 1,000 patient-years (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.12). Elevated risk was seen in the postpartum period (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.2) but not during pregnancy. The risk was elevated for Crohn disease (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.12) but not ulcerative colitis. The risk was specifically elevated for new-onset mood or anxiety disorder and alcohol or substance use disorders (adjusted hazard ratios, 1.14 and 2.73, respectively). Maternal age, delivery year, medical comorbidity, number of prenatal visits, family physician obstetrical care, and infant mortality were predictors of mental illness.

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“Increased awareness by obstetricians and gastroenterologists, as well as validated tools to identify women with IBD who are at risk for, or suffering from, perinatal mental illness could prevent the onset of illness in some cases, and result in more prompt diagnosis and treatment in others,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries.

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