Navigation Links
Stress during pregnancy may increase offspring's risk of asthma
Date:3/17/2010

Stress during pregnancy may raise the risk of asthma in offspring, according to researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. The researchers investigated differences in immune function markers in cord blood between infants born to mothers in high stress environments and those born to mothers with lower stress and found marked differences in patterns that may be associated with asthma risk later in life.

"This is the first study in humans to show that increased stress experienced during pregnancy in these urban, largely minority women, is associated with different patterns of cord blood cytokine production to various environmental stimuli, relative to babies born to lower-stressed mothers," said Rosalind Wright, M.D., M.P.H., associate physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The findings have been published online ahead of print publication in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Asthma is known to be more prevalent among ethnic minorities and among disadvantaged urban communities, but the disparity is not completely explained by known physical factors. Urban women living in the inner-city also experience significant stress, particularly minority women.

The role of stress in asthma development is poorly understood, but animal studies have suggested that the mother's stress during pregnancy can influence the offspring's immune system, starting in the womb.

To determine whether a similar transference of stress-mediated immune differences may occur with humans, Dr. Wright and colleagues recruited pregnant women in several cites, including Boston, Baltimore, New York and St. Louis. Their families were largely ethnic minorities, 20 percent of whom were living below the poverty level. Each child's mother or a father had a history of asthma or allergy.

In total, 557 families answered detailed questions about the various stressors in their lives, at home (including domestic violence), in their financial situations and in their neighborhoods (community violence). When the infants were born, their cord blood was collected and isolated immune cells were stimulated with a number of factors (allergens like dust and cockroach, viral and bacterial stimulants), then analyzed for the production of various cytokines as indicators of how the child's immune system was primed to respond to the environment.

The researchers found that the patterns of cytokines related to certain stimulants differed based on the level of stress mothers reported.

"The ctyokine patterns seen in the higher stress groups, which are an indication of how the child's immune system is functioning at birth, may be a marker of increased risk for developing asthma and allergy as they get older," explained Dr. Wright.

"For example, while the debate continues as to whether primary sensitization to allergens begins before birth, these findings suggest the possibility that prenatal stress may enhance the neonates' response to inhalant antigens, specifically those antigens that the fetus is likely to encounter more directly in utero, like dust mite."

The research, a prospective cohort study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will continue as the infants grow up to determine whether maternal stress levels do indeed have an impact on asthma development.

"The current findings suggest that psychological stress is involved in programming of the infant immune response and that this influence begins during pregnancy," said Dr. Wright. "As these infants mature, we will learn how these factors manifest later in terms of the development of asthma and allergy."


'/>"/>

Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Mice stressed in simulated weightlessness show organ atrophy
2. Heat stress influences low conception of dairy herds
3. Boston College profs study oxidative stress subcellular to discover its role in diseases
4. Researchers find evidence linking stress caused by the Sept. 11 disaster with low birth weights
5. Carnegie Mellon, Pitt Team to study psychosocial stress
6. Social stress + darkness = increased anxiety
7. Relationship between environmental stress and cancer elucidated
8. Cell response to stress signals predicts tumors in women with common pre-breast cancer
9. Asthma link to post-traumatic stress disorder, says Mailman School of Public Health study
10. Buyer beware: Stressed plants wont survive shipping
11. Moderate prenatal exposure to alcohol and stress in monkeys can cause touch sensitivity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016   The Weather Company , an IBM ... an industry-first capability in which consumers will be able to ... ask questions via voice or text and receive relevant information ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that ... be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited to ... VoicePass. By working together, VoiceIt and ... VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different approaches to ... both security and usability. ... this new partnership. "This marketing and ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... VILNIUS, Lithuania , May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... today released the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification ... deployment of large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can ... and accuracy using any combination of fingerprint, face ... of MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... TORONTO , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon ... the development and commercialization of a portfolio of ... cancers. Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an ... contribute significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that ... living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at ... New York City . The teams, ... at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. ... curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today ... trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The ... ascending dose studies designed to assess the safety, ... injection in healthy adult volunteers. Forty ... a single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Pleasant Prairie, WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, ... ... sciences consultancy focused on quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free ... webinar is presented on July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: