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Mult Scler. 2016 Oct;22(11):1452-1462. Epub 2015 Dec 18.

Children of chronically ill parents: Relationship between parental multiple sclerosis and childhood developmental health.

Author information

1
School of Population and Public Health and Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
2
Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
3
School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
4
Centre for Brain Health, Division of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia/Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
5
Departments of Internal Medicine and Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.
6
Centre for Brain Health, Division of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia/Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Vancouver, BC, Canada helen.tremlett@ubc.ca.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Exposure to parental chronic illness is associated with adverse developmental outcomes.

OBJECTIVE:

We examined the association between parental multiple sclerosis (MS) and parental MS-related clinical factors on developmental health.

METHODS:

We conducted a population-based cohort study in British Columbia, Canada, using linked health databases. The outcome was childhood development at 5 years of age, expressed as vulnerability on the Early Development Instrument (EDI). Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using conditional logistic regression.

RESULTS:

MS-affected parents (n = 783) were older, more likely to be English speakers, and had higher rates of mental health morbidity (39.6% vs 22.2%, p < 0.001) than unaffected parents (n = 2988). In the adjusted models, children of mothers with MS (aOR = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.44-0.87), but not children of the fathers with MS, had a lower risk of vulnerability on the social development domain of the EDI. However, mental health comorbidity (aOR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.05-2.50) and physical comorbidity (aOR = 1.67, 95% CI = 1.05-2.64) among mothers with MS were associated with increased vulnerability on the EDI.

CONCLUSION:

Maternal MS, but not paternal MS, was associated with lower rates of developmental vulnerability on the social development domain. However, mental and physical comorbidity among MS-affected mothers were associated with increased developmental vulnerability in children.

KEYWORDS:

Multiple sclerosis; anxiety; child development; cohort studies; depression

PMID:
26683589
PMCID:
PMC5051600
DOI:
10.1177/1352458515621624
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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