Mood Disorders Up for Children of Consanguineous Parents

Increased odds of mental health issues and needing antidepressant, anxiolytic, antipsychotic medications
Increased odds of mental health issues and needing antidepressant, anxiolytic, antipsychotic medications

HealthDay News — Children of first-cousin consanguineous parents are more likely to be in receipt of antidepressant or anxiolytic medications and antipsychotic medications, according to a study published online April 4 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Aideen Maguire, PhD, from Queen's University Belfast in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a retrospective population-wide cohort study of all individuals born in Northern Ireland between January 1, 1971, and December 31, 1986. The final data set included 363,960 individuals alive and residing in Northern Ireland in 2014.  

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The researchers found that 0.2% of the individuals were born to consanguineous parents. Compared with children of nonrelated parents, children of first-cousin consanguineous parents were more than 3 times as likely to be in receipt of antidepressant or anxiolytic medications and were more than twice as likely to be in receipt of antipsychotic medications, after full adjustment for factors known to be associated with poor mental health (odds ratios, 3.01 and 2.13, respectively).

"A child of consanguineous parents is at increased risk of common mood disorders and psychoses," the authors write.

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