Mental illness is one of the major health problems globally, as one in four people in the world is affected by mental disorders at one point in their lives. Recent studies have also drawn links between parental mental illness and an increased risk of injuries in children and adolescents. This research aims at evaluating the associations between parental mental illness and injuries among offspring.

This is a retrospective cohort study conducted on 1,542,000 children linked in 893,334 mothers and 873,935 fathers, as per the Swedish population-based registers. The researchers identified maternal or paternal mental illness through linkage to patient healthcare registers and associated it with the risk of injuries in offspring.

It was found that children of parents with mental illness had higher rates of injuries than children of parents without mental illness. For children of 0-1 year of age, there were 2,088 injuries per 100,000 person-years, and this number was 18-1716 less in children of 0-1 years of age who were born to parents without any mental health issues. The risk was the highest during the first year of life and gradually reduced as the children grew up.

The research concluded that parental mental illness is associated with a higher risk of injuries among offspring, especially during the first year.

Ref: https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m853