Toronto: Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to depression, but women who take anti-depressants during pregnancy may be predisposing their infants to Type 2 diabetes and obesity later in life, says a study.
Maternal use of a class of anti-depressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs increase risk of obesity and diabetes in children, the findings showed.
Obesity and Type 2 diabetes in children is on the rise and there is the argument that it is related to lifestyle and availability of high calorie foods and reduced physical activity.
"Our study has found that maternal anti-depressant use may also be a contributing factor to the obesity and diabetes epidemic," said Alison Holloway, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at McMaster University in Canada.
"We have demonstrated for the first time in an animal model that maternal use of a class of anti-depressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs resulted in increased fat accumulation and inflammation in the liver of the adult offspring," Nicole De Long from McMaster University said.
The study does not suggest women should avoid taking anti-depressants during pregnancy, only that there may be risks associated with anti-depressants that have not been previously identified, Holloway added.