Everyday Health - Bipolar Disorder Risk for Babies Born to Moms Who Had Flu - Amir Khan

New York, NY
 – May 9, 2013  –– 

Pregnant women who get the flu shot could be lowering the risk of bipolar disorder in their offspring, according to research published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. Pregnant mothers should not be worried about their babies developing bipolar disorder just because they were infected with the flu, said Michael Silverman, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The findings don’t show that the flu causes bipolar disorder, he said, but only an association that may do nothing but scare pregnant women. “Women are going to be worried that if they get the flu, their child is going to be damaged,” he said. “But the risk is very small. It’s really nothing.”A simple flu shot will help ward off the flu, which in turn may help reduce risk of bipolar disease offspring, Silverman said. The flu shot will not harm the fetus. “If this study tells us anything,” he said, “it's that women should get vaccinated for the flu, especially if they are pregnant.”
-Dr. Michael Silverman, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
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