BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis is associated with an increased risk of developing physical, cognitive, and mental health problems. Current studies have demonstrated variating outcomes of parental multiple sclerosis mental health problems and their children's mental health development.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether maternal multiple sclerosis is associated with the mental health status of their child.
METHODS: Data from the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) were merged with information from the Danish Multiple Sclerosis Registry. Two proxies, total difficulties score and prediction of any psychiatric diagnosis based on the strengths and difficulties questionnaire, were used to measure the mental health status of the children. The two groups were compared using Mann-Whitney and logistic regression analyses.
RESULTS: For the total difficulties score the control and exposed group consisted of respectively n = 42,016 and n = 40, and for the prediction of any psychiatric diagnosis respectively n = 16,829 and n = 17. We found no statistically significant association between maternal multiple sclerosis and mental health status on neither of the proxies.
CONCLUSION: Maternal multiple sclerosis did not show any association with the mental health status of their children at age eleven. On the contrary, other studies conclude that there is an association between maternal multiple sclerosis and the child's mental health status, one especially mediated by the maternal mental health status.