Navigation Links
Mother's depression a risk factor in childhood asthma symptoms, study suggests

Maternal depression can worsen asthma symptoms in their children, according to research from Johns Hopkins Children's Center published online in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

Analyzing data from interviews with 262 mothers of African-American children with asthma a population disproportionately affected by this inflammatory airway disorder the Hopkins investigators found that children whose mothers had more depressive symptoms had more frequent asthma symptoms during the six-months of the study. Conversely, children whose mothers reported fewer depressive symptoms had less frequent asthma symptoms.

Researchers tracked ups and downs in maternal depression as related to the frequency of symptoms among children.

"Even though our research was not set up to measure just how much a mom's depression increased the frequency of her child's symptoms, a clear pattern emerged in which the latter followed the earlier," says senior investigator Kristin Riekert, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Adherence Research Center.

But while maternal depression appeared to aggravate a child's asthma, the opposite was not true: How often a child had symptoms did not seem to affect the mother's depressive symptoms, an important finding that suggests maternal depression is an independent risk factor that can portend a child's symptoms, researchers say.

Past studies have shown that children with chronic health conditions fare worse if their primary caregiver is depressed, but none have teased out the exact interplay between the two.

"Intuitively, it may seem that we're dealing with a chicken-egg situation, but our study suggests otherwise," Riekert says. "The fact that mom's depression was not affected by how often her child had symptoms really caught us off guard, but it also suggested which factor comes first."

Researchers did not study why and how a mother's depression affects a child's asthma status, but because depression often involves fatigue, memory lapses and difficulty concentrating, it can affect a parent's ability to manage the child's chronic condition, which can involve daily, and sometimes complex, drug regimens and frequent visits to the doctor.

"Mom is the one who must implement the doctor's recommendations for treatment and follow-up, and if she is depressed she can't do it well, so the child will suffer," says lead investigator Michiko Otsuki, Ph.D., a behavioral medicine fellow at Johns Hopkins at the time of the study, now at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Investigators say their findings should prompt pediatricians who treat children with asthma to pay close attention to the child's primary caregiver whether or not it is the mother and screen and refer them for treatment if needed.

"We ask these parents if they are smokers all the time, so maybe it's time to start asking them if they are coping well emotionally," said co-investigator Arlene Butz, Sc.D., a pediatric asthma specialist at Johns Hopkins Children's Center. "Doctors are trained to pick up on subtle clues, so if they see a red flag in mom, they should follow-up with a depression screener and referral if needed."

Treating depressed mothers whose children are at high-risk for asthma complications will likely benefit both mother and child, researchers say, while providing a clear treatment target to help reduce the burden of asthma in the United States. Asthma is the country's leading pediatric chronic illness, affecting 6.5 million children under the age of 18, according to the CDC.

The Hopkins study included only mothers but investigators believe a similar pattern would emerge regardless of who the primary caregiver is.

Researchers caution that the mothers in their study were screened for depression with a standard questionnaire, which is a reliable detector of symptoms but not a firm diagnosis.

The Hopkins findings came from a high-risk, inner-city population and thus cannot be statistically extended to other ethnic and socioeconomic groups, but researchers say the effect of caregiver depression on a child's asthma likely transcends demographics.


Contact: Ekaterina Pesheva
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Related medicine news :

1. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Offers Newborn and Parenting Resources to Ease New Mothers Transition Back to Work After Maternity Leave
2. WellPoints Affiliated Life and Disability Companies Offer Newborn and Parenting Resources to Ease New Mothers Transition Back to Work After Maternity Leave
3. Using science to save lives of mothers and children in Africa
4. WellPoint Named One of the Top 100 Companies for Working Mothers
5. Parenting Expert and Family Advocate Jo Frost and Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) Launch Time 2 Talk Asthma
6. New Breastfeeding Supplement Designed to Improve Milk Production for Nursing Mothers
7. Mothers of children with autism have higher parental stress, psychological distress
8. Omega-3s Benefit Heart Attack Survivors, Healthy Adults, Mothers and Infants
9. International Breast Milk Project Helps Mothers Worldwide
10. U.S. Maternal Health Program: Marks 20 Years of Support to Mothers and Childbearing Women
11. New Quarterly Magazine Launched by Red Bloom Media LLC Puts the Health and Wellness of Mothers Front and Center
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Mother's depression a risk factor in childhood asthma symptoms, study suggests
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Many people know of the common symptoms of low thyroid hormone (also ... many people who find their cholesterol levels and weight are creeping up are more ... they don’t have any of the other symptoms. , Thyroid hormone plays a major ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Genesis Chiropractic Software ... software creates an agreement between the practice owner and the patient that automatically ... notification, and projections. Click here to learn more. , ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... Charitable giving is at its peak during the holidays. In fact, ... the year totalling over $358 billion in 2014. With more than 1.5 million ... individuals who want to “give back” during the holidays. , “With so many charities ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The ... comes to several aspects of orthopedic care. They have received recognition for excellence ... general orthopedic care. , Becker's Hospital Review selected hospitals for inclusion based ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... In response to recent news highlighting Oxycodone fraud, Novus Medical ... the United States grew 400 percent between 1999 and 2010, far more than the ... percent of all fatal drug overdoses. (1) , While oxycodone and the extended release ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... N.Y. , Nov. 24, 2015 Avery ... System, is pleased to announce the appointment of ... Dr. ... pediatric cardiology at Children,s Hospital, Uppsala University, Uppsala and ... From 1984-1986, he was a fellow at the Cardiovascular ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... --> adds Latest Guidebook for ... of 217 pages published in November 2015 to ... online business intelligence library at . ... of the fastest growing global economies with a ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Ascendant Solutions, Inc. (Pink Sheets: ... its Board of Directors has declared a special 1 percent ... dividend is payable December 14, 2015, to shareholders of record ... form of additional shares of common stock. ... Board is a strong endorsement of our confidence in Ascendant,s ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: