Authors：Zhou JX, Guo Y, Teng YZ, Zhu LL, Lu J, Hao XM, Yan SQ, Tao FB, Huang K.
Source：J Affect Disord. 2023 Aug 6;340:312-320.
Background: The fetal immune system and consequent elevated risk of asthma in childhood may be impacted by maternal anxiety during pregnancy. Limited studies have evaluated whether there was a sensitive period and cumulative effect of the relationship between prenatal anxiety and children's asthma.
Methods: 3131 mother-child pairs made up the study's sample from the Ma'anshan Birth Cohort Study in China. Maternal anxiety status was repeated three times using the pregnancy-related anxiety questionnaire in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy. Diagnostic information on asthma was collected three times at 24, 36, and 48 months of age.
Results: After adjusting for confounders, children born to mothers with anxiety in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy all had an elevated risk of total asthma from 12 to 48 months of age. After further adjusting prenatal anxiety in the other trimesters, no association was observed between prenatal anxiety in any trimester and preschoolers' asthma. Children of mothers with persistently high anxiety score trajectory during pregnancy had an elevated risk of total asthma and high prevalence trajectory of asthma. Cumulative effects analysis showed that the more frequent the mother's anxiety, the higher the risk of her offspring developing a high prevalence trajectory of asthma from 12 to 48 months of age. The results of the subgroup analysis by age showed similar associations overall.
Conclusions: Maternal antenatal anxiety was associated with an elevated risk of preschool children's asthma, and a possible cumulative effect was observed. Maternal mental health conditions during pregnancy should receive constant attention throughout pregnancy, not just during one period.
Keywords: Anxiety; Asthma; Cohort; Pregnancy; Preschool age; Trajectory.