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Infections during childhood may affect mental health: Study

Health
ANI


Washington D.C.: According to a recent study, serious infections during childhood can be associated with a subsequent increased risk of mental disorders.

Researchers at the Aarhus University found that infections, which require hospitalizations, can lead to an 84 percent increased risk of being diagnosed with any mental disorder and an about 42 percent increased the risk of using psychotropic drugs.

The findings of the study are published in the Journal of JAMA Psychiatry.

The team associated the less severe infections, majorly treated with antibiotics, with increased risks of 20-40 percent of mental disorders.

"The surprising finding was that the infections in general -- and in particular, the less severe infections, those that were treated with anti-infective agents -- increased the risk for the majority of mental disorders," said Ole Kohler-Forsberg, lead researcher of the study.

For the study, the researchers analyzed health data of more than 1 million people and took a close look at their medical histories from birth to late adolescence.

They found associations between any treated infection and increased risk of prescribed medication for various childhood and adolescent mental disorders.

Risks were majorly increased for schizophrenia spectrum disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, personality and behavior disorders, mental retardation, autism spectrum disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder, and tic disorders.

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