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Prenatal psychological distress influences risk of childhood recurrent respiratory infections

12 May 2019
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Maternal psychological distress during pregnancy increases the risk of recurrent respiratory infections (RRI) in offspring during early childhood, a recent study has shown.

The study included 204 children with RRIs (mean gestational age 39.6±1.6 weeks; 56 percent male) and 1,014 controls (mean gestational age 39.7±1.7 weeks; 53 percent male). Maternal distress symptoms were assessed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, Symptom Checklist-90 anxiety subscale and Pregnancy-Related Anxiety Questionnaire-Revised 2. Parental relationship quality was measured using the Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale.

Univariate analysis showed that mothers of children in the RRI group had significantly greater symptoms of prenatal depression (p<0.001), pregnancy-specific anxiety (p=0.001) and anxiety (p=0.04), as well as lower satisfaction with parental relationship (p=0.008).

Similar trends were observed for higher postnatal depression (p=0.001) and anxiety (p=0.03) scores and lower satisfaction with the child at 2 years of age (p=0.003).

Multivariable adjusted logistic regression confirmed that prenatal scores in the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (odds ratio [OR], 1.24; 95 percent CI, 1.08–1.44) and Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale (OR, 1.32; 1.01–1.58) were significantly and positively associated with childhood RRIs.

The same was true for prenatal maternal anxiety as measured by the Symptom Checklist-90 anxiety subscale (OR, 1.40; 1.01–1.76) and Pregnancy-Related Anxiety Questionnaire-Revised 2 (OR, 1.28; 1.11–1.47).

“Our study showed that prenatal maternal distress should be considered as a potential risk factor for later childhood respiratory infections,” said researchers.

“As paediatricians, we should work to address maternal stress prenatally to enhance offspring health,” they added. “We need additional research to further understand the mechanisms and to develop targeted and efficient interventions”

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Most Read Articles
20 Jun 2020
The Lundbeck Neuroscience Symposium was held at Sofitel KL Damansara over 2 days, with extensivediscussions on the management of various mental illnesses. The second day of the symposiumaddressed the topic of schizophrenia management, focusing on treatment goals, the rationale forpartial dopamine D(2) receptor agonism and the use of long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics topromote adherence.
Pearl Toh, 4 days ago
Having migraine during midlife appears to be associated with a higher risk of developing dementia in later life, according to a large population-based longitudinal Danish study presented at the AHS* 2020 Virtual Meeting, indicating that migraine may be a risk factor for dementia.
4 days ago
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Christina Lau, 2 days ago

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