The effects of maternal asthma during pregnancy on child cognitive and behavioral development: A systematic review
This week the most recent paper from our group got published in Journal of Asthma.
The article was a systematic review of the literature exploring the relationship between asthma during pregnancy and child development. Over the years, it has been well established that maternal asthma during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of negative perinatal outcomes. However, little is known about the direct effects of maternal asthma on infant cognitive development.
We found ten articles that explored this question. When reviewing the articles, we found that some studies reported that maternal asthma is associated with increased risk for autism and intellectual disability in children. However, the effects were small and were often eliminated when controlling for confounding variables. Other studies found no association. The only prospective study found that well-managed asthma during pregnancy was not associated with negative developmental outcomes in children. We concluded that the evidence suggesting a relationship between maternal asthma during pregnancy and poor developmental and behavioral outcomes of children were weak.
However, in order to fully explore and understand the impact of asthma during pregnancy, we need to follow children for a long time after birth. This is what we are doing with are Breathing for Life - Infant Development study (click here to learn more about our study). There has also been some interesting Australian research reported in the media recently highlighting a link between maternal immune system functioning, including asthma, during pregnancy and child outcomes. See here 'Allergies and flu in pregnancy linked to child developmental disorders, like autism and ADHD' and 'Pregnant mothers' asthma and allergies linked to more severe autism in their children'.
Citation: Olivia M. Whalen, Frini Karayanidis, Vanessa E. Murphy, Alison E. Lane, Carly A. Mallise & Linda E. Campbell (2018) The effects of maternal asthma during pregnancy on child cognitive and behavioral development: A systematic review, Journal of Asthma, DOI: 10.1080/02770903.2018.1437174
Hi, I am Dr Linda Campbell. I am an Academic and a Clinical Psychologist. This blog is meant to keep you in the loop about the activities of of our research lab - the FIND Lab.