Antidepressant use during pregnancy and risk of congenital heart defects: A case-time-control study

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Abstract Purpose We estimated the association between maternal antidepressant (AD) use in early pregnancy and risk of congenital heart defects. Methods We applied a case-time-control design with the aim of controlling for confounding from time-invariant factors and compared the results of the design to results from a cohort design in a population of 792 685 singletons born alive in Denmark during 1995-2008. In the case-time-control design, we identified children diagnosed with a congenital heart defect in the first 5 years of life (cases) and compared maternal AD use in the risk period (the first 3 months of pregnancy) and the reference period (gestational months 5-7). A nondiseased control group was included to adjust for time trends of exposure. In the cohort design, we identified children whose mothers redeemed at least one AD prescription in the first 3 months of pregnancy (the exposed) and two other groups including the unexposed children with maternal AD prescriptions in the 12 months before pregnancy. We applied conditional logistic regression and logistic regression to compute odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results The case-time-control OR for any congenital heart defect was 1.03 (95% CI, 0.61-1.73), which was similar to the OR (1.09, 95% CI, 0.88-1.35) from the cohort design when we compared the exposed children with the unexposed children with maternal AD use before pregnancy. Conclusions The case-time-control design provided results similar to the cohort design when the cohort design had a better confounder control strategy. We discussed the strengths and drawbacks of case-time-control design.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Pages (from-to)1180-1193
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019

    Research areas

  • antidepressants, case-time-control, cohort design congenital heart defects, pharmacoepidemiology, pregnancy

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