Birth with Synthetic Oxytocin and Risk of Childhood Emotional Disorders: A Danish Population-based Study

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Background: Concerns have been raised that synthetic oxytocin, a widely used obstetric tool for labor induction and augmentation, may have deleterious e ffects on the neuropsychological development of children. Few studies have examined the relationship between oxytocin-stimulated labor and emotional disorders. Methods: We conducted a nationwide register-based cohort study including 677,629 singletons born in Denmark in the years 2000 to 2012 and followed through 2016 (median age = 10.6 years). Data on oxytocin-stimulation were obtained from the Danish Medical Birth Register. Cases of emotional disorders-anxiety, ob-sessive-compulsive disorder, mood or traumatic stress disorders or a redeemed prescription for a selective ser-otonin reuptake inhibitor-were identi fied using Danish patient and prescription registries. Results: Oxytocin was used to stimulate 31% of births, and oxytocin-stimulated labor was not associated with childhood emotional disorders (HR = 1.05, 95% CI 0.99, 1.11) after adjustment for maternal history of psy-chopathology, antidepressants during pregnancy, cohabitation status, highest educational attainment, smoking status during pregnancy, birth year, and indications for labor stimulation. The crude cox model was also small and close to unity (HR = 1.09, 95% CI 1.03, 1.15). Limitations: About 50% of our population had reached the age of 10 years, but the outcome included dis-orders with later average debut ages. Oxytocin dosage levels are not recorded in the registers. Conclusions: Our small e ffect size estimates suggest that perinatal synthetic oxytocin does not contribute to the development of emotional disorders. Current evidence does not warrant revision of guidelines for the use of oxytocin in obstetrics.

TidsskriftJournal of Affective Disorders
Sider (fra-til)112-117
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - 2020

ID: 244998927