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Association between maternal prenatal psychological distress and autism spectrum disorder among 3-year-old children: The Japan Environment and Children’s Study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 July 2022

Toshie Nishigori
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environmental and Children’s Study, Fukushima, Japan
Koichi Hashimoto
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environmental and Children’s Study, Fukushima, Japan
Miyuki Mori
Affiliation:
Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environmental and Children’s Study, Fukushima, Japan Department of Development and Environmental Medicine, Fukushima Medical Center for Children and Women, Fukushima Medical University Graduate School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan Department of Midwifery and Maternal Nursing, Fukushima Medical University School of Nursing, Fukushima, Japan
Taeko Suzuki
Affiliation:
Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environmental and Children’s Study, Fukushima, Japan Department of Development and Environmental Medicine, Fukushima Medical Center for Children and Women, Fukushima Medical University Graduate School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan Preparing Section for School of Midwifery, Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima, Japan
Madoka Watanabe
Affiliation:
Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environmental and Children’s Study, Fukushima, Japan Department of Midwifery and Maternal Nursing, Fukushima Medical University School of Nursing, Fukushima, Japan
Karin Imaizumi
Affiliation:
Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environmental and Children’s Study, Fukushima, Japan Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan
Tsuyoshi Murata
Affiliation:
Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environmental and Children’s Study, Fukushima, Japan Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan
Hyo Kyozuka
Affiliation:
Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environmental and Children’s Study, Fukushima, Japan Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan
Yuka Ogata
Affiliation:
Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environmental and Children’s Study, Fukushima, Japan
Akiko Sato
Affiliation:
Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environmental and Children’s Study, Fukushima, Japan
Kosei Shinoki
Affiliation:
Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environmental and Children’s Study, Fukushima, Japan
Seiji Yasumura
Affiliation:
Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environmental and Children’s Study, Fukushima, Japan Department of Public Health, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan
Keiya Fujimori
Affiliation:
Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environmental and Children’s Study, Fukushima, Japan Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan
Hidekazu Nishigori*
Affiliation:
Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environmental and Children’s Study, Fukushima, Japan Department of Development and Environmental Medicine, Fukushima Medical Center for Children and Women, Fukushima Medical University Graduate School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan
Mitsuaki Hosoya
Affiliation:
Department of Pediatrics, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environmental and Children’s Study, Fukushima, Japan
*
Address for correspondence: Hidekazu Nishigori MD, PhD, Department of Development and Environmental Medicine, Fukushima Medical Center for Children and Women, Fukushima Medical University Graduate School of Medicine, 1 Hikarigaoka, Fukushima-City, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan. Email: nishigo@fmu.ac.jp

Abstract

Maternal prenatal psychological distress, which includes depression and anxiety, affects the onset of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, there is no consistent knowledge regarding at which term during pregnancy psychological distress affects the risk of ASD among children. We used a dataset obtained from the Japan Environment and Children’s Study, which is a nationwide prospective birth cohort study, to evaluate the association between the six-item Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6) and ASD among 3-year-old children. A total of 78,745 children were analyzed, and 355 of them were diagnosed with ASD (0.45%). The maternal K6 was administered twice during pregnancy: at a median of 15.1 weeks (M-T1) and at that of 27.4 weeks (M-T2) of gestation. Multivariate logistic regression analyses demonstrated that the group with a maternal K6 score of ≥5 at both M-T1 and M-T2 was significantly associated with ASD among the children (adjusted odds ratio, 1.440; 95% confidence interval, 1.104–1.877) compared to the group with a score of ≤4 at both M-T1 and M-T2. There was no significant difference between the group with a score of ≥5 only at M-T1 or M-T2 and that with a score of ≤4 at both M-T1 and M-T2. In conclusion, from the first to the second half of pregnancy, continuous maternal psychological distress was associated with ASD among 3-year-old children. Contrarily, in the group without persistent maternal psychological distress during pregnancy, there was no significant association.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press in association with International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease

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