Background: Maternal psychiatric symptoms during pregnancy might affect the developing immune system and subsequent risk of childhood atopic diseases. Objective: Our aim was to examine the associations of maternal psychiatric symptoms during pregnancy with allergic sensitization, allergy and eczema in children until age 10 years.
Methods: This study among 5205 children was performed in a population-based prospective cohort from foetal life onwards. We assessed maternal and paternal psychiatric symptoms (overall, depressive, anxiety) during pregnancy and at 36 months after delivery, and maternal psychiatric symptoms at 2 and 6 months after delivery using the Brief Symptom Inventory. Inhalant and food allergic sensitization were measured by skin prick tests, and physician-diagnosed inhalant and food allergy or eczema by questionnaires from birth until age 10 years. We used multivariate logistic regression, multinomial logistic regression or generalized estimating equation models where appropriate.
Results: We observed no association of maternal psychiatric symptoms during pregnancy with allergic sensitization. Maternal overall psychiatric, depressive and anxiety symptoms during pregnancy were associated with an increased risk of inhalant allergy only (adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval) 1.96 (1.44, 2.65), 1.58 (1.25, 1.98) and 1.61 (1.27, 2.03), respectively, per 1-unit increase). Maternal overall psychiatric and anxiety symptoms during pregnancy were associated with an increased risk of eczema (1.21 (1.05, 1.39) and 1.15 (1.02, 1.29), respectively, per 1-unit increase). Effect estimates did not materially change when maternal psychiatric symptoms after delivery, or paternal psychiatric symptoms during pregnancy and after delivery were taken into account.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: Maternal psychiatric symptoms during pregnancy were associated with increased risks of childhood inhalant allergy and eczema, independent of maternal psychiatric symptoms after delivery and of paternal psychiatric symptoms.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Atopic diseases, Birth cohort, Children, Pregnancy, Psychiatric symptoms
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/cea.12889, hdl.handle.net/1765/98028
Journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy
Citation
Elbert, N.J, Duijts, L, den Dekker, H.T, de Jong, N.W, Nijsten, T.E.C, Jaddoe, V.W.V, … Pasmans, S.G.M.A. (2016). Maternal psychiatric symptoms during pregnancy and risk of childhood atopic diseases. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. doi:10.1111/cea.12889