New study may ease pregnant women's concerns

Researchers: No increased risk of heart defects in babies born to women taking antidepressants

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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If you're one of the millions of women taking antidepressant medication and are thinking about getting pregnant, the results of a new study may calm some of your fears. Researchers say there is no increased risk in the development of heart defects in babies born to women taking antidepressants.

"They found absolutely no difference. No statistically significant increased risk or cardiac defects amongst the women who were on the antidepressants," said Dr. Rebecca Starck, who did not take part in the study but is an obstetrician at Cleveland Clinic.

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital studied nearly 950,000 women, of which, nearly 65,000 were taking antidepressants during their first trimester.
Results show for every 10,000 infants born to women taking antidepressants, 90 had a heart defect.

They compared it to the 72 babies per 10,000 born to women not taking antidepressants, and found no significant difference, which led researchers to conclude that the risk is not substantial.

According to the latest statistics from the centers for disease control and prevention between 7 and 13 percent of all pregnant women in the united states are taking an antidepressant.

Starck says she hopes these latest findings will put women more at ease.

"I'm actually pleased to be able to tell women that there is yet more data to support the safety of the antidepressants, especially in those women who are at high risk for post-partum depression," she said.

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