Maternal stressful life events during pregnancy and atopic dermatitis in children aged approximately 4-6 years

Camilla Senter | 2021

Advisor: Catherine Karr

Research Area(s): Maternal & Child Health

Full Text

The prevalence of atopic dermatitis (AD) in children has steadily increased over time, yet it remains largely unknown how maternal factors during pregnancy are associated with child AD. Few studies have specifically assessed the relationship between prenatal stress and child AD with inconsistent findings. In this prospective cohort study following 426 mother-child dyads from pregnancy to middle childhood, women reported stressful life events (SLEs) experienced
during the 12 months before delivery and AD outcomes in children aged approximately 4-6 years, including current- and location-specific AD and ever AD. We used Poisson regression to estimate adjusted risk ratios (RRs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) associated with a 1-unit increase in prenatal SLEs, adjusting for potential confounders. We also assessed whether the association between prenatal SLEs and child AD was modified by child sex, history of maternal atopy, or prenatal maternal resilient coping. The mean (standard deviation) of prenatal SLEs reported in the overall sample was 1.4 (1.6), with 37.1% of women reporting none. A 1-unit increase in prenatal SLEs was not significantly associated with current AD (RR: 1.08, 95% CI: 0.89, 1.31), location-specific AD (RR: 1.09, 95% CI: 0.78, 1.52), or ever AD (RR: 0.97, 95% CI: 0.87, 1.09). We did not find evidence of effect modification. Findings from this study suggest no association between prenatal SLEs and AD in children aged approximately 4-6 years, although larger longitudinal studies with enhanced case definition and higher variability of SLE experience may more fully inform this question.