Preemies more likely to develop anxiety, depression, ADHD: McMaster study

Important point to remember is that avoiding the steroids may result in the baby being "lost." But the study does certainly point to a need to make sure that the steroids are needed.

It also showed life-saving steroids taken by mothers before giving birth to preemies — babies born prematurely at extremely low birth weights — also had a significant impact: without them, children are less likely to develop alcohol dependency and substance abuse problems. With them, any protection from alcohol dependency disappears, and the prevalence of psychiatric problems in preemies is amplified.

Published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, lead author Dr. Ryan Van Lieshout said the research will “help us better predict, detect and treat mental disorders in the population.”