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Arch Dis Child. 2003 Jan;88(1):34-7.

Postnatal depression and infant growth and development in low income countries: a cohort study from Goa, India.

Author information

  • 1London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK. vikpat@goatelecom.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Postnatal depression is a recognised cause of delayed cognitive development in infants in developed countries. Being underweight is common in South Asia.

AIMS:

To determine whether postnatal depression contributes to poor growth and development outcomes in Goa, India.

METHODS:

Cohort study for growth outcomes with nested case-control study for developmental outcomes. A total of 171 babies were weighed and measured at 6-8 weeks following birth. The following measures were used: Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale for maternal mood, and sociodemographic and infant health variables. Outcome measures were: weight (<5th centile), length (<5th centile), and Developmental Assessment Scale for Indian Infants scores at six months.

RESULTS:

Postnatal depression was a strong, and independent, predictor of low weight and length and was significantly associated with adverse mental development quotient scores.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study provides evidence for the first time that postnatal depression, a potentially treatable disorder, is a cause of poor growth and development in South Asia.

PMID:
12495957
PMCID:
PMC1719257
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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