Nkansah-Amankra, Stephen (2018). Pre-pregnancy maternal depressive symptoms and low birth weight and preterm birth outcomes: Assessment of adolescent background characteristics and birth outcomes in adulthood. Midwifery.
vol. 58 pp. 120-129
PURPOSE: In the United States and other countries of the world , high prevalence of pre-pregnancy depressive symptoms and depression during pregnancy is an important public health concern, as they are associated with low birth weight (LBW) and preterm birth (PTB) outcomes in adulthood. However, the relationships among pre-pregnancy depressive symptoms, low birth weight, preterm birth outcomes and household characteristics have not been well established. METHODS: The study used data from 7120 adolescent female participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health data from Waves I (1994-1995 in-school interview), II (1996 as in-home), III (2001-2002 as in-home interview), IV (2008 as in-home interview) and Wave V is currently underway. The main outcomes were LBW and PTB. Maternal depressive symptoms were assessed with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES-D) using a cut-off point of 24 to indicate higher depressive symptoms . Odds ratios were used as an estimate of the relative risk using generalized estimating equations (GEE). RESULTS: In Wave I, prevalence of depressive symptoms among age groups 11-15 (54.1%) was higher than older adolescents (45.9%) were. With the exception of depressive symptoms reported in Wave II, respondents reporting depressive symptoms in Waves I and III had similar unadjusted rates of LBW or PTB infants in adulthood. Mothers reporting higher depressive symptoms in older adolescence (15-19 years) had elevated odds of LBW infants (3.58 [95% CI=1.81, 7.09]) in Wave III compared with others reporting low depressive symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Undeniably, childhood socioeconomic circumstances are important determinants of disease risks and improved health functioning and in particular birth outcomes in adulthood. Since poorer households have fewer resources to cope with stressful events that generate mood and other depressive symptoms over the life course, findings of research suggest treating depressive symptoms prior to pregnancy will yield significant dividends for mothers and society. Furthermore, without careful control of household contexts, the association between depressive symptoms and birth outcomes is likely to be confounded.
December 13, 2017