Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Low Birth Weight Linked To Psychological Distress In Adulthood

Date:
July 2, 2005
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
Low birth weight is associated with adult psychological distress. The research found that children born full term but weighing less than 5.5 lbs had a 50% increased risk of psychological distress in later life. This remained the case after taking into account potential confounding factors, such as the father's social class, maternal age and adult marital status.

Low birth weight is associated with adult psychological distress, according to a new study published in the July issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Related Articles


The research found that children born full term but weighing less than 5.5 lbs (almost 3% of the total sample) had a 50% increased risk of psychological distress in later life. This remained the case after taking into account potential confounding factors, such as the father's social class, maternal age and adult marital status.

Until now it has been unclear whether the effect of low birth weight on common mental health problems in later life is direct, or is affected by childhood factors, such as IQ or behavioural problems.

Dr Nicola Wiles, from Bristol University and lead author on the study, commented: "The findings suggest that low birth weight at full term has a direct effect on adult mental health, rather than simply reflecting a pathway through childhood cognition and/or behaviour. This is an interesting finding that requires replication in other studies but suggests that early factors, before birth, might be important in increasing vulnerability to depression in adult life".

This study used information on 5572 participants in the Aberdeen Children of the 1950s study for which data collection was funded by the Medical Research Council. The researchers from the University of Bristol and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine examined the association between birth weight for gestational age and later adult psychological problems, taking into account cognition and behavioural problems in childhood.

No increase in risk was found in those of low birth weight who were born early, before 38 weeks. Similarly, pre-term delivery was not associated with an increased risk of psychological distress in adulthood.

As found in previous studies, low birth weight was associated with an increased risk of cognitive deficit (having an IQ of less than 100) at the age of seven, and with childhood behavioural disorder. This effect was observed among those born early as well as those born at term.

IQ of less than 100 at age seven was associated with an increased risk of psychological distress in adulthood. But taking into account IQ and behavioural factors did not alter the strength of the association between low birth weight at full term and adult psychological distress.

Low birth weight for gestational age is a marker for impaired foetal growth. The observed association with adult psychological distress provides further evidence for the theory that common mental health problems in adulthood may be due to impaired neuro-development, as has been suggested in schizophrenia.

Further work is needed to explore the biological mechanism underlying this relationship.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bristol. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "Low Birth Weight Linked To Psychological Distress In Adulthood." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050701063314.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2005, July 2). Low Birth Weight Linked To Psychological Distress In Adulthood. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050701063314.htm
University of Bristol. "Low Birth Weight Linked To Psychological Distress In Adulthood." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050701063314.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins