Document Detail

Maternal prenatal anxiety and stress predict infant illnesses and health complaints.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20643724     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: Evidence from both animals and humans suggests that maternal prenatal anxiety and stress can have adverse consequences on the offspring's development. Animal models also show that prenatal stress has programming effects on the physical health of the offspring, such as immune functioning. In human studies, however, physical health outcomes are often restricted to birth complications; studies on the effects of acquiring illnesses are scarce. This study aimed to examine whether maternal prenatal anxiety and stress, measured both by self-report and by cortisol physiology, are related to more infant illnesses and antibiotic use during the first year of life. METHODS: Participants in the study were 174 mothers with normal pregnancies and term deliveries (71 firstborns; 91 boys). The mothers filled out third-trimester questionnaires on general and pregnancy-specific anxiety and stress and provided saliva samples for circadian cortisol. Information on infant illnesses and antibiotic use was obtained through monthly maternal interviews across the infant's first year of life. RESULTS: Hierarchical multiple regressions showed that, even after controlling for many relevant confounders, prenatal anxiety and stress predicted a considerable amount of variance in infant illnesses and antibiotic use: 9.3% for respiratory, 10.7% for general, 8.9% for skin, and 7.6% for antibiotic use. Digestive illnesses were not related to prenatal anxiety and stress. CONCLUSIONS: Although replication is warranted, to our knowledge, this is the first evidence linking maternal prenatal anxiety and stress to infant illnesses and antibiotic use early in life.
Roseriet Beijers; Jarno Jansen; Marianne Riksen-Walraven; Carolina de Weerth
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-07-19
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pediatrics     Volume:  126     ISSN:  1098-4275     ISO Abbreviation:  Pediatrics     Publication Date:  2010 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-08-03     Completed Date:  2010-09-02     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376422     Medline TA:  Pediatrics     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  e401-9     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Developmental Psychology, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*,  epidemiology*,  metabolism
Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
Health Status*
Hydrocortisone / analysis,  metabolism
Infant, Newborn
Mothers / psychology*,  statistics & numerical data*
Prenatal Diagnosis*
Saliva / chemistry
Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*,  metabolism,  psychology*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Anti-Bacterial Agents; 50-23-7/Hydrocortisone

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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