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Mount Sinai and CUNY Graduate Center Study Shows Children Exposed to Superstorm Sandy in the Womb Have Higher Rates of Developmental Psychopathology in a Sex-Specific Manner

Jeffrey Newcorn, MD

New data from the longitudinal Stress in Pregnancy Study have identified earlier onset and higher rates of developmental psychopathology among children whose mothers were pregnant during Superstorm Sandy. Researchers found that children prenatally exposed to the natural disaster that high metropolitan New York in October 2012 had substantially increased risks for depression, anxiety, and attention deficit/disruptive behaviors compared to children who were not. Further, male children had distinctly and substantially elevated risks for attention deficit and disruptive disorders (including ADHD, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder), while female children had elevated risks for anxiety disorders, phobia, and depressive disorders (including separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and dysthymia.

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