Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Protecting Preemies From Stress Might Improve Later Mental Health

Protecting Preemies From Stress Might Improve Later Mental Health

THURSDAY, Oct. 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Being born at an extremely low birth weight seems to increase the risk for developing mental health issues as an adult. But that risk can be lowered by lessening exposure to bullying and family stress during childhood and adolescence, new research suggests.

This finding concerns premature babies born at 2.2 pounds or less.

"We are concerned that being born really small and being exposed to all the stresses associated with preterm birth can lead to an amplification of normal stresses that predispose people to develop depression and anxiety later in life," said study author Ryan Van Lieshout. He is an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

With support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the study team reviewed about 40 years' worth of data.

The data provided details on nearly 180 extremely low birth weight children who had been born between 1977 and 1982 and survived into adulthood. Their adult mental health status was compared with that of 145 adults who had been born at a normal weight.

Van Lieshout and his colleagues noted that prior research has suggested that those born at an extremely low birth weight appear to face a higher than average risk for developing mental illness later in life.

Why? The team cited the specific medical burdens that come with caring for a preemie, which often exposes the child to considerable maternal anxiety, depression and familial stress.

The study wasn't designed to prove what might cause mental health issues in preemies as they age; it was only found associations.

But extra stress in their lives, said researchers, may leave preemies more vulnerable to the kind of bullying that all children and adolescents often confront while growing up. And that vulnerability may in turn raise their risk for developing mental health problems by adulthood.

"If we can find meaningful interventions for extremely low birth weight survivors and their parents," said Van Lieshout in a university news release, "we can improve the lives of preterm survivors and potentially prevent the development of depression and anxiety in adulthood."

The study was published Oct. 3 in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

More information

There's more information on low birth weight preemies at March of Dimes.

SOURCE: McMaster University, news release, Oct. 3, 2017

Reviewed Date: --

This content was reviewed by Mid-Atlantic Womens Care, PLC. Please visit their site to find an Mid-Atlantic Womens Care obstetrician.

Find a pediatrician
Helpful Information
Mid-Atlantic Womens's Care
Childrens Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Dr. J. Marc Cardelia
Dr. Allison Crepeau
Dr. Cara Novick
Dr. Jeremy Saller
Dr. H. Sheldon St. Clair
Dr. Carl St. Remy
Dr. Allison Tenfelde
Sports Medicine
Dr. Joel Brenner
Dr. Aisha Joyce
Dr. David Smith
Neurology
Dr. Sarah Chagnon
Dr. Thomas Enlow
Dr. L. Matthew Frank
Dr. Ralph Northam
Dr. Dayna Perkowski
Dr. Crystal Proud
Dr. Svinder Toor
Dr. Larry White
Dr. Ryan Williams
Health Tips
Helping Kids Get Over their Fears
How Old Is "Old Enough" for Contacts?
Quizzes
Teen Health Quiz
NewsLetters
Anxiety and Heart Disease: Women Take Note
Food Allergy Bullying: A Growing Problem
Try These 3 Tactics to Help Prevent Depression
Try These Activities to Help Manage Depression
Diseases & Conditions
Adolescent (13 to 18 Years)
Adolescents and Diabetes Mellitus
Amenorrhea in Teens
Anatomy of a Child's Brain
Anatomy of the Endocrine System in Children
Anxiety Disorders in Children
Asthma in Children Index
Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) in Children
Bone Marrow Transplant for Children
Brain Tumors in Children
Breast Conditions in Young Women
Breast Milk Collection and Storage
Breast Milk Expression
Breastfeeding Difficulties - Mother
Breastfeeding Your Baby
Breastfeeding Your Premature Baby
Chemotherapy for Children: Side Effects
Ewing Sarcoma in Children
Female Growth and Development
Firearms
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in Children and Teens
Gynecological and Menstrual Conditions
Hepatitis B (HBV) in Children
High Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents
Home Page - Adolescent Medicine
Inflammatory and Infectious Musculoskeletal Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Neurological Disorders
Inguinal Hernia in Children
Insect Bites and Children
Kidney Transplantation in Children
Major Depression in Teens
Meningitis in Children
Menstrual Cramps (Dysmenorrhea) in Teens
Menstrual Disorders
Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Myasthenia Gravis (MG) in Children
Oral Health
Osteosarcoma (Osteogenic Sarcoma) in Children
Overview of Adolescent Health Problems
Pap Test for Adolescents
Pediatric Blood Disorders
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Children
Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery
Preterm Labor
Schizophrenia in Children
School-Aged Child Nutrition
Sports Safety for Children
Superficial Injuries Overview
Television and Children
Thalassemia
The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds
The Growing Child: Adolescent (13 to 18 Years)
The Heart
The Kidneys
Your Child's Asthma
Your Child's Asthma: Flare-ups

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.