Objective: To investigate whether young adults born very preterm (VPT) (<33 weeks) are at increased risk for psychiatric illness in adulthood and whether a family history of psychiatric disorder further increases this risk.
Methods: We assessed 169 VPT and 101 term born individuals using the Clinical Interview Schedule - Revised.
Results: Young adults born VPT had an increased risk for psychiatric disorder compared to controls (OR=3.1, 95% CI=1.1-8.6, p=0.03). Those born VPT who had a history of psychiatric disorder in a first-degree relative, had an increase in risk for psychiatric disorder compared to those born VPT without a family history (OR=5.2, 95% CI=1.8-14.9, p=0.002).
Conclusion: Individuals born VPT are at increased risk of psychiatric illness in young adulthood compared to controls. In addition, a family history of psychiatric disorder in a first-degree relative may leave young adults born VPT particularly vulnerable to psychiatric illness.