Depression linked to lower likelihood of having children | Latest news for doctors, nurses and pharmacists

According to a study, men and women with treated depression appear to be less likely to have children or have fewer children compared to their counterparts without the condition.

Researchers conducted a nationwide cohort study that involved 1,408,951 people born in Finland between 1960 and 1980. They identified diagnoses of depression using health care registry data (this i.e. inpatient episodes 1969-2017 and outpatient specialist visits 1996-2017).

The main study outcomes of having biological children, the number of biological children and the age at first birth were determined using Statistics Finland’s population register and set to either the last year from follow-up in 2017, either in the last year of life or living in Finland.

Depression treated in secondary care was associated with a lower probability of having children in both men (odds ratio [OR]0.66, 95% confidence interval [CI]0.64-0.67) and women (OR, 0.84, 95% CI, 0.82-0.85), as well as with fewer children (men: rate ratio impact [IRR], 0.86, 95% CI, 0.86–0.87; women: IRR, 0.96, 95% CI, 0.96–0.96).

Depression was correlated with a slightly lower age at first birth (men: 33.1 vs 34.0 years, p

No association was observed for low-educated men, while depression was correlated with a higher likelihood of having children and a higher number of children among low-educated women.

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