December 02, 2015
1 min read

Postpartum depression increases risk for preschool wheeze among girls

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Preschool-aged daughters of women who experienced postpartum depression demonstrated a significantly increased risk for wheeze, according to study results.

“Postpartum depression may be a risk factor for preschool wheeze among girls in a low-risk population, directly and indirectly through prenatal distress and vitamin use,” Megan E. Alton BSc, a member of the faculty of medicine at University of Calgary, and colleagues wrote. “Interventions which target postpartum depression and promote a healthy pregnancy may also reduce the risk [for] wheeze in children.”

Alton and colleagues used data from the Community Prenatal Trial on maternal postpartum depression to evaluate 791 women and their children. The researchers performed logistic regression analyses by sex to assess the association between postpartum depression and child wheeze.

The investigators adjusted the analyses for factors such as maternal distress, prenatal and postnatal smoking, preterm birth, vitamin use during pregnancy, duration of breastfeeding, maternal education and daycare attendance.

Results showed girls born to mothers with postpartum depression were nearly five times as likely to have childhood wheeze by age 3. Path analysis showed postpartum depression had a direct effect on wheeze (beta-coefficient = 0.135; P < .05). Postpartum depression also mediated the effects of prenatal distress and vitamin use, researchers wrote.

Among boys, only prenatal smoking appeared to be a significant predictor for wheeze, primarily due to the effects of postnatal smoking. – by Jeff Craven

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.