Depression, anxiety in mothers up risks of atopic dermatitis, asthma in kids
Children born to mothers who had experienced distress during or after pregnancy are likely to develop atopic dermatitis (AD) and asthma, a study has found.
The analysis included 12,587 children with continuous health coverage from birth until their fifth or seventh birthday. About half of the children were girls, and 55 percent resided in urban areas. AD at age 5 years was diagnosed in 18.9 percent of children, while asthma at age 7 years was diagnosed in 7.1 percent.
Overall, 14 percent of mothers experienced mental distress prenatally, while 79 percent had postpartum maternal distress (any point during the first 5 postpartum years). Forty percent of all mothers had symptoms of or were treated for depression or anxiety following the birth of their child.
Multiple logistic regression revealed AD at age 5 years to be significantly associated with maternal prenatal (odds ratio [OR], 1.27, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.11–1.46), recurrent postpartum (OR, 1.28, 95 percent CI, 1.11–1.48), and late-onset postpartum (OR, 1.19, 95 percent CI, 1.06–1.34) distress.
Asthma at age 7 years was also linked to maternal prenatal distress (OR, 1.57, 95 percent CI, 1.29–1.91) and late-onset postnatal distress (OR, 1.22, 95 percent CI, 1.01–1.46).
The associations for AD or asthma did not differ between boys and girls, with the exception of recurrent postnatal distress, which conferred an increased risk for asthma in boys only.
The findings support recommendations for mothers to receive greater psychosocial support during pregnancy and early childhood to prevent childhood atopic disease, according to the researchers.