ABSTRACT: There is a high prevalence of depression in south Asian women. We aimed to examine the association between antenatal depression and low birthweight (LBW) in infants in a rural community in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
A total of 143 physically healthy mothers with ICD-10 depression in the third trimester of pregnancy and 147 non-depressed mothers of similar gestation were followed from birth. Infant weight was measured and information collected on socioeconomic status, maternal body-mass index and sociodemographic factors.
Infants of depressed mothers had lower birthweight (mean 2910 g) than infants of non-depressed mothers (mean 3022 g). The relative risk for LBW (< or =2500 g) in infants of depressed mothers was 1.9 (95% CI 1.3-2.9). The association remained significant after adjustment for confounders by multivariate analyses.
Low birthweight is a major public health problem in developing countries. Maternal depression during pregnancy predicts LBW. Interventions aimed at maternal depression may help improve infant outcomes.
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 06/2007; 115(6):481-6. · 4.22 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To examine the associations between postnatal depression in mothers and diarrhoeal illness in their infants in the first year of life in a low-income country.
Using a prospective cohort design, 265 infants (n = 130 of mothers having a depressive episode according to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision, at 3 months postnatal and n = 135 of psychologically well mothers) living in rural Rawalpindi, Pakistan, were followed up for 1 year. Frequency of diarrhoeal episodes was measured fortnightly by health workers using a standard questionnaire.
Infants of depressed mothers had significantly more diarrhoeal episodes per year than those of controls (mean 5.5 v 4.0; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.9 to 2.0). The relative risk of having > or =5 diarrhoeal episodes per year in infants of depressed mothers was 2.3 (95% CI 1.6 to 3.1). The association remained significant after adjustment for other risk factors by multivariate analysis.
Maternal depression is associated with infant diarrhoeal morbidity in a low-income community setting. It is independent of the effects of known factors such as undernutrition, socioeconomic status and parental education. Preventive child health programmes targeting mothers must consider their mental health.
Archives of Disease in Childhood 01/2007; 92(1):24-8. · 2.88 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies in Pakistan show high rates of depression in women, while rates of malnutrition in children are also high. This study aimed to determine whether poor maternal mental health is associated with an increased risk of infant undernutrition.
Clinic-based case-control study. A total of 172 consecutive infants and their mothers attending for 9-month measles immunization were recruited over a 3-month period. Eighty-two undernourished infants [weight for age below the National Centre for Health Statistics (NCHS)/World Health Organization (WHO) third centile] were matched to 90 controls (weight for age above 10th centile), and their mothers interviewed for mental distress using the Self-Reporting Questionnaire (WHO SRQ-20, a psychiatric screening instrument). Infants' exposure to maternal distress (score > or = 10 on SRQ-20) and other potential risk or protective biological, social, socio-economic and family factors were measured.
Mental distress determined by WHO SRQ-20 was associated with increased risk of undernutrition in infants (odds ratio 3.91, 95% confidence interval 1.95-7.86). This association remained significant after controlling for birthweight and social factors.
Exposure to maternal mental distress is associated with undernutrition in 9-month infants in urban Pakistan. These mothers may represent a group whose children are at higher risk of ill health, and potentially be a specific target for advice on infant care. Early recognition and treatment of mental health problems in mothers may help reduce morbidity and mortality rates in children.
Child Care Health and Development 01/2004; 30(1):21-7. · 1.20 Impact Factor