Maternal mental health and social support: effect on childhood atopic and non-atopic asthma symptoms.

Dos Santos, LM; Dos Santos, DN; Rodrigues, LC; Barreto, ML; (2012) Maternal mental health and social support: effect on childhood atopic and non-atopic asthma symptoms. Journal of epidemiology and community health. ISSN 0143-005X DOI:

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: BACKGROUND: Atopic and non-atopic asthma have distinct risk factors and immunological mechanisms, and few studies differentiate between the impacts of psychosocial factors on the prevalence of these disease phenotypes. The authors aimed to identify whether the effect of maternal mental health on prevalence of asthma symptoms differs between atopic and non-atopic children, taking into account family social support. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study of 1013 children participating in the Social Change Allergy and Asthma in Latin America project. Psychosocial data were collected through a household survey utilising Self-Reporting Questionnaire and Medical Outcome Study Social Support Scale. Socioeconomic and wheezing information was obtained through the questionnaire of the International Study of Allergy and Asthma in Childhood, and level of allergen-specific IgE was measured to identify atopy. Polytomous logistic regression was used to estimate the association between maternal mental health, social support and atopic and non-atopic wheezing. Effect modification was evaluated through stratified polytomous regression according to social support level. RESULTS: Maternal mental disorder had the same impact on atopic and non-atopic wheezing, even after adjusting for confounding variables. Affective, material and informational supports had protective effects on non-atopic asthma, and there is some evidence that social supports may act as a buffer for the impact of maternal mental disorder on non-atopic wheezing. CONCLUSION: Poor maternal mental health is positively associated with wheezing, independent of whether asthma is atopic or non-atopic, but perception of high levels of social support appears to buffer this relationship in non-atopic wheezers only.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health
Research Centre: Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 22495771
Web of Science ID: 309650500009


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