232935 Infant weight-gain and obesity of rural children in the context of maternal postpartum mental health

Monday, November 8, 2010

Stacy Carling, MS , Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Elaine Wethington, PhD , Human Development, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Christine Olson, PhD , Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Introduction: Consequences of mental health reach beyond individuals and impact family dynamics, health and socioeconomic capacity. Prevalence of mental illness in women is high in poverty-stricken rural areas. Maternal mental illness negatively impacts child health and development. This analysis will evaluate whether postpartum depressive symptomatology impacts child weight-gain and obesity in a rural context. The ultimate goal is to investigate maternal mental health as a vector for intergenerational transmission of health and human capital. Methodology: This analysis uses data from the Bassett Mother's Health Project I cohort (n=622 rural, central New York women, 44% low income). Postpartum “baby blues” survey data were collected at 6 weeks, 6 months and 1 year postpartum and used to categorize women as Healthy, Depressed or Resilient. Infant weight-gain and child BMI percentile at 3 years of age will be analyzed by maternal mental health category using multivariate longitudinal data analysis. Results: Approximately 22% of children (27% males, 18% females) born to mothers in the subsample had a BMI≥85th percentile at age 3 years. Preliminary unadjusted data show 44% of Depressed mothers' children were above the 85th percentile compared to 23% and 31% of Healthy and Resilient mothers' children, respectively. Similarly, rate of birth-to-1-year weight-gain was highest for Depressed mothers' children. Discussion: Understanding whether maternal mental health impacts infant weight-gain and child BMI may provide insight into mechanisms by which cumulative disadvantage is manifested. Addressing maternal mental health status may be an appropriate intervention target for childhood obesity prevention, especially in high-risk rural populations.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1) Evaluate whether maternal postpartum mental health has an impact on infant weight-gain and BMI percentile at age 3 years. 2) Assess measures of poverty in this rural population - such as family size and income, involvement in the Prenatal Care and Assistance Program, and type of insurance - and their association with maternal postpartum mental health.

Keywords: Mental Health, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am responsible for the analysis of data mentioned in this abstract. Currently, I am a doctoral student in Community Nutrition at Cornell University, where I continue to learn about obesity from a biopsychosocial perspective.

Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.