Psychological trauma associated with the World Trade Center attacks and its effect on pregnancy outcome.
ABSTRACT The destruction of the World Trade Center (WTC) on 11 September 2001 was a source of enormous psychological trauma that may have consequences for the health of pregnant women and their fetuses. In this report, we describe the impact of extreme trauma on the birth outcomes of women highly exposed to the WTC. We enrolled 187 women who were pregnant and living or working within close proximity to the WTC on 11 September. Among women with singleton pregnancies, 52 completed at least one psychological assessment prior to delivery. In adjusted multivariable models, both post-traumatic stress symptomatology (PTSS) and moderate depression were associated with longer gestational durations, although only PTSS was associated with decrements in infant head circumference at birth (beta=-0.07, SE=0.03, P=0.01). The impact of stress resulting from extreme trauma may be different from that which results from ordinary life experiences, particularly with respect to cortisol production. As prenatal PTSS was associated with decrements in head circumference, this may influence subsequent neurocognitive development. Long-term follow-up of infants exposed to extreme trauma in utero is needed to evaluate the persistence of these effects.
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ABSTRACT: United States (U.S.) pregnant and postpartum (P/PP) women and their infants may be particularly vulnerable to effects from disasters. In an effort to guide post-disaster assessment and surveillance, we initiated a collaborative process with nationwide expert partners to identify post-disaster epidemiologic indicators for these at-risk groups. This 12 month process began with conversations with partners at two national conferences to identify critical topics for P/PP women and infants affected by disaster. Next we hosted teleconferences with a 23 member Indicator Development Working Group (IDWG) to review and prioritize the topics. We then divided the IDWG into three population subgroups (pregnant women, postpartum women, and infants) that conducted at least three teleconferences to discuss the proposed topics and identify/develop critical indicators, measures for each indicator, and relevant questions for each measure for their respective population subgroup. Lastly, we hosted a full IDWG teleconference to review and approve the indicators, measures, and questions. The final 25 indicators and measures with questions (available online) are organized by population subgroup: pregnant women (indicators = 9; measures = 24); postpartum women (indicators = 10; measures = 36); and infants (indicators = 6; measures = 30). We encourage our partners in disaster-affected areas to test these indicators and measures for relevancy and completeness. In post-disaster surveillance, we envision that users will not use all indicators and measures but will select ones appropriate for their setting. These proposed indicators and measures promote uniformity of measurement of disaster effects among U.S. P/PP women and their infants and assist public health practitioners to identify their post-disaster needs.Maternal and Child Health Journal 12/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10995-014-1643-4 · 2.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Complications related to preterm birth (PTB) and low birth weight (LBW) are leading causes of infant morbidity and mortality. Prenatal depression is a hypothesized psychosocial risk factor for both birth outcomes. The purpose of this systematic review was to examine evidence published between 1977 and 2013 on prenatal depression and risks of these primary adverse birth out-comes. A systematic search of the PUBMED and Psy-cINFO databases was conducted to identify studies testing the associations between prenatal depressive symptoms, or diagnoses of depression, and risk of PTB or LBW. We systematically selected 50 published reports on PTB and length of gestation, and 33 reports on LBW and BW. Results were reviewed by two independent reviewers and we evaluated the quality of the evidence with an established systematic review method, the Newcastle Ottawa Scale. We then undertook a narrative synthesis of the results following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Less than a quarter of 50 published reports found that prenatal depression was significantly associated with PTB or gestational age. In contrast, slightly more than half of the 33 reports found that prenatal depression was associated with LBW or BW. When weighing methodological features, we determined that the effects of prenatal depression on LBW are more consistent than effects on length of gestation or PTB. Although the evidence may not be strong enough to support routine depression screening for risk of adverse outcomes, screening to enable detection and timely treatment to reduce risk of postpartum depression is warranted. Further rigorous research on prenatal depression and adverse birth outcomes is needed.Maternal and Child Health Journal 12/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10995-014-1637-2 · 2.24 Impact Factor
The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist 10/2011; 13(4). DOI:10.1576/toag.13.4.263.27693