While a number of studies have documented higher period prevalence rates of depression among single as compared to married mothers, all of the data have been based upon community surveys of mental illness. In Canada, all of the published work comes from Ontario. As a result, we do not know whether these results hold true for other regions of the country. Using a nationally representative sample, we find, consistent with previous work, that single mothers have almost double the 12-month prevalence rates of married mothers (15.4% versus 6.8%). As well, there are no significant differences in rates of depression between single and married mothers by region/province of the country. Our findings are compared with other epidemiologic data on the mental health of single mothers from Ontario.
Concealment of pregnancy and newborn infant abandonment are closely associated with neonaticide, the killing of an infant within the first 24 h of life or less than 28-30 days depending on the jurisdiction. Abandonment of newborn infants occurs throughout the world and often the outcome for the infant is death. Together with neonaticide it is felt to be one of the least preventable crimes. In this retrospective study we present all forensically known Danish cases of abandoned newborn infant corpses, covering the period from 1997 to 2008. Eleven newborn infant corpses were found; we registered characteristics of the newborn infants and the circumstances of the cases based on autopsy reports. One further newborn infant was included, dating back to 1992, as it was found to be connected with one of the later cases. The mean age of the women who abandoned their newborn infants was 22 years, and five of the autopsied newborn infants were probably alive when abandoned. In two cases the newborn infants were half siblings and abandoned by the same mother. The time span from abandonment to when the newborn infant was found ranged from hours to 7 years. Two-thirds of the newborn infants were girls (66.6%). The most common means of disposal was in a plastic bag (~60%); only one newborn infant was wearing clothes when found. Causes of death were usually given as asphyxia, brain injury or simply undetermined. Two-thirds of the newborn infants showed signs of violence. None of the newborn infants had congenital malformations.
The recently discovered human parvovirus 4 (PARV4) is found most frequently in injection drug users, HIV-positive patients, and in haemophiliacs. Studies from Ghana report the finding of PARV4 in plasma from 2 to 12% of children without acute infection, and in nasal secretions and faecal samples. Studies of PARV4 in children from industrialized countries are few.
We aimed to describe the occurrence of PARV4 in a population-based birth cohort of 228 Danish mothers and their healthy children who previously participated in a study of respiratory tract infections in infancy.
Children were included over a whole calendar year and were monitored through monthly home visits through the first year of life. Plasma samples for the present study were available from 228 mothers, 176 newborns, and 202 12-months-old children. All samples were analysed for the presence of PARV4 antibodies by enzyme immunoassay, and samples with detectable antibodies were in addition studied by real-time PCR.
One (0.4%) of 228 mothers had PARV4 IgG exceeding the cut-off absorbance level and another had borderline IgG reactivity. No mother among these two had an acute infection, as they were IgM and PARV4 DNA negative. All blood samples from newborns and one-year-old children had IgG and IgM reactivity below cut-off.
PARV4 is rare in Danish mothers and infants. Further studies are needed, in both rural and urban settings, to investigate the epidemiology and clinical significance of this novel human parvovirus.
Six cereal/legume mixtures were developed with the aid of computer-assisted optimization software from cereal and legume staples indigenous to the West African sub-region. The mixtures had 45-50% maize, 35-40% decorticated cowpeas and either blanched peanuts or decorticated soybeans as a source of lipid and complementary amino acids. Three processing schemes involving roasting, amylase digestion and extrusion cooking were employed. The proportion of ingredients in each cereal/legume blend was based on meeting the nutrient requirement of the 0.5-0.9-year-old infant and cost considerations. Nutrient composition of the blends (proximate, amino acid, mineral and vitamin composition) indicated that these formulations were adequate nutritionally as weaning supplements (Mensa-Wilmot et al, 2000a,2000b). These formulations were evaluated by mothers of weanling children based on their preferences with respect to color, flavor, texture and willingness to purchase the product assessed. A total of 133 one-on-one interviews and 23 group discussions were conducted (involving 6-12 respondents) with selected Ghanaian women. The mothers found the convenience of a weaning food made from local staples that could be processed on village/market scale very attractive.
The burden of celiac disease (CD) is increasingly recognized as a global problem. However, whether this situation depends on genetics or environmental factors is uncertain. The authors examined these aspects in Sweden, a country in which the risk of CD is generally considered to be high. If environmental factors are relevant, CD risk in second-generation immigrant children should be related to maternal length of stay in Sweden before delivery.
Linking the Swedish Medical Birth Registry to other national registries, the authors investigated all singleton children (n = 792,401) born in Sweden between 1987 and 1993. They studied the risk of CD in children before age 6 as a function of the mother's geographical region of birth and length of stay in Sweden before delivery using Cox regression models.
In children whose mothers immigrated to Sweden from a country outside of Europe, a maternal length of stay in Sweden of more than 5 years increased the hazard ratio (HR) of CD (1.73, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06-2.81). The authors observed a similar result among children born to mothers from a Nordic country outside of Sweden (HR 1.57, 95% CI 0.89-2.75), but a non-conclusive protective effect was observed in second-generation immigrant children from a non-Nordic European country (HR 0.65, 95% CI 0.39-1.09).
The risk of CD among second-generation immigrants seems to be conditioned by maternal length of stay in Sweden before delivery, suggesting that environmental factors contribute to the variation in CD risk observed across populations.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the accuracy of maternal recall of children birthweight (BW) and gestational age (GA), using the Danish Medical Birth Register (DBR) as reference and to examine the reliability of recalled BW and its potential correlates. DESIGN: Comparison of data from the DBR and the European Youth Heart Study (EYHS). SETTING: Schools in Odense, Denmark. POPULATION: A total of 1271 and 678 mothers of school children participated with information in the accuracy studies of BW and GA, respectively. The reliability sample of BW was composed of 359 women. METHOD: The agreement between the two sources was evaluated by mean differences (MD), intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and Bland-Altman's plots. The misclassification of the various BW and GA categories were also estimated. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Differences between recalled and registered BW and GA. RESULTS: There was high agreement between recalled and registered BW (MD =-0.2 g; ICC = 0.94) and GA (MD = 0.3 weeks; ICC = 0.76). Only 1.6% of BW would have been misclassified into low, normal or high BW and 16.5% of GA would have been misclassified into preterm, term or post-term based on maternal recall. The logistic regression revealed that the most important variables in the discordance between recalled and registered BW were ethnicity and parity. Maternal recall of BW was highly reliable (MD =-5.5 g; ICC = 0.93), and reliability remained high across subgroups. CONCLUSION: Maternal recall of BW and GA seems to be sufficiently accurate for clinical and epidemiological use.
Data is lacking on the reliability of weight and height for young children as reported by parents participating in population-based studies. We analysed the accuracy of parental reports of children's weights and heights as estimates of body mass index, and evaluated the factors associated with the misclassification of overweight and obese children.
Analyses were conducted on a population-based birth cohort of 1549 4-year-old children from the province of Québec (Canada) in 2002. Mothers reported weights and heights for the children as part of the regular annual data collection. Within the following 3 months, children's weights and heights were measured at home as part of a nutrition survey.
This study indicates that mothers overestimate their children's weight more than their height, resulting in an overestimation of overweight children of more than 3% in the studied population. Only 58% of the children were reported as overweight/obese with reported values. Maternal misreporting is more important for boys than girls, and for low socioeconomic status children compared with high socioeconomic status children.
Research on the prevalence of overweight and obesity has often used self-reported measures of height and weight to estimate BMI. However, the results emphasize the importance of collecting measured data in childhood studies of overweight and obesity at the population level.
Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is the most commonly used medication for pain and fever during pregnancy in many countries. Research data suggest that acetaminophen is a hormone disruptor, and abnormal hormonal exposures in pregnancy may influence fetal brain development.
To evaluate whether prenatal exposure to acetaminophen increases the risk for developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-like behavioral problems or hyperkinetic disorders (HKDs) in children.
We studied 64,322 live-born children and mothers enrolled in the Danish National Birth Cohort during 1996-2002.
Acetaminophen use during pregnancy was assessed prospectively via 3 computer-assisted telephone interviews during pregnancy and 6 months after child birth.
To ascertain outcome information we used (1) parental reports of behavioral problems in children 7 years of age using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire; (2) retrieved HKD diagnoses from the Danish National Hospital Registry or the Danish Psychiatric Central Registry prior to 2011; and (3) identified ADHD prescriptions (mainly Ritalin) for children from the Danish Prescription Registry. We estimated hazard ratios for receiving an HKD diagnosis or using ADHD medications and risk ratios for behavioral problems in children after prenatal exposure to acetaminophen.
More than half of all mothers reported acetaminophen use while pregnant. Children whose mothers used acetaminophen during pregnancy were at higher risk for receiving a hospital diagnosis of HKD (hazard ratio?=?1.37; 95% CI, 1.19-1.59), use of ADHD medications (hazard ratio?=?1.29; 95% CI, 1.15-1.44), or having ADHD-like behaviors at age 7 years (risk ratio?=?1.13; 95% CI, 1.01-1.27). Stronger associations were observed with use in more than 1 trimester during pregnancy, and exposure response trends were found with increasing frequency of acetaminophen use during gestation for all outcomes (ie, HKD diagnosis, ADHD medication use, and ADHD-like behaviors; P trend
The aim of this study was to test a new method for continuous monitoring of the Danish contact person concept and to evaluate the impact of the concept on the mothers' perception of nursing care and on their self-efficacy.
This is a descriptive study, carried out at a neonatal unit forming part of a department of paediatrics. Using an electronic questionnaire, the mothers were asked if they had been given a contact nurse and how they assessed the quality of the care and their own self-efficacy. The correlation between their experience of being given a contact person and having high scores of nursing care and of self-efficacy was analyzed by logistic regression.
A total of 300 (81%) of the mothers answered the questionnaire. Among the mothers who acknowledged having had a contact nurse compared with those who did not, odds ratios were > 1 in 10/11 questions concerning assessment of nursing care. Concerning the mothers' assessment of their self-efficacy, the odds ratios were > 1 in 7/11 questions. None of these were statistically significant.
The study showed a tendency towards a positive impact on nursing care when contact persons were allocated to the mothers who were admitted to a neonatal ward. The findings were statistically significant in 2/11 questions.
Department of Psychology, University of Denver, Denver, CO, USA; Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of California-Irvine, Hewitt Hall, Irvine, CA 92697, USA. Electronic address: Elysia.Davis@du.edu.
Early life experiences have persisting influence on brain function throughout life. Maternal signals constitute a primary source of early life experiences, and their quantity and quality during sensitive developmental periods exert enduring effects on cognitive function and emotional and social behaviors. Here we examined if, in addition to established qualitative dimensions of maternal behavior during her interactions with her infant and child, patterns of maternal signals may contribute to the maturation of children's executive functions. We focused primarily on effortful control, a potent predictor of mental health outcomes later in life.
In two independent prospective cohorts in Turku, Finland (N?=?135), and Irvine, CA, USA (N?=?192) that differed significantly in race/ethnicity and sociodemographic parameters, we assessed whether infant exposure to unpredictable patterns of maternal-derived sensory signals portended poor effortful control.
In both the Irvine and Turku cohorts, unpredictable sequences of maternal behavior during infancy were associated with worse effortful control at one year of age. Longitudinal analyses demonstrated that this association persisted for as long as each cohort was assessed-until two years of age in the Turku cohort and to 9.5?years in the Irvine cohort. The relation of unpredictable maternal signals during infancy and the measures of executive function persisted after adjusting for covariates.
The consistency of our findings across two cohorts from different demographic backgrounds substantiated the finding that patterns, and specifically unpredictable sequences, of maternal behaviors may influence the development of executive functions which may be associated with vulnerability to subsequent psychopathology. FUND: This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards P50MH096889, HD051852, NS041298, HD02413, HD050662, HD065823, and by the FinnBrain funders: Academy of Finland (129839, 134950, 253270, 286829, 287908, 308176, 308252), Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation, Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation, and State Research Grants (P3498, P3654).