To cite this article: Lefevre F, Moreau D, Sémon E, Kalaboka S, Annesi-Maesano I, Just J. Maternal depression related to infant’s wheezing. Pediatric Allergy Immunology 2011; 22: 608–613.
Objective: To assess whether maternal psychological status is related to infant’s wheezing.
Study design: In a case–control study conducted in Paris in cases aged less than 36 months suffering from wheezing and matched healthy controls, mothers filled a standardized questionnaire on child’s health and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory form Y-B and the Beck Depression Inventory short form. Cases underwent also routine clinical and biological assessments. The statistical analysis used the propensity score analysis to control for selection bias.
Results: Hundred and thirty-eight wheezers and hundred and nine controls participated in the study. After adjustment for confounders, maternal depressive symptoms at the period of the survey according to the Beck Inventory were more significantly found in the cases than in others (p < 0.01). A trend was found for maternal depression during pregnancy. Among the cases, 10.6% suffered from severe asthma, 84.8% took inhaled corticosteroids (ICs), 17.4% had positive specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) to allergens and 11.5% hypereosinophilia. The more the mother was depressed according to the Beck Inventory, the more the infant’s asthma was severe (OR = 4.25, 95% CI: 1.14, 15.9 between severe infant’s wheezing and severe maternal depression). No relationship was observed between mother’s depressive symptoms and ICs taken by the infant, allergic sensitization or eosinophilia.
Conclusion: Our findings support the hypothesis of a link between maternal depression and infant’s wheezing and its severity early in life independent of allergic status. Consequences of our study include the need to assess depressive symptoms in mothers of infants with asthma.