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Minerva Pediatrica 2018 October;70(5):430-7

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4946.17.04452-8

Copyright © 2015 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Predictors of depression and anxiety during adolescence: the impact of birth weight

Fernanda COSTA MACHADO 1, Maria S. SOUZA VITALLE 2, Maria FRANCO 3

1 Division of Translational Medicine, School of Medicine, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 2 Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 3 Division of Nephrology, School of Medicine, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil


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BACKGROUND: A complex association has been observed between birth weight (BW) and depression/anxiety symptoms at various stages of life. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether adolescents with low or insufficient BW were more likely to report depressive/anxiety symptoms.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 102 adolescents (40 boys and 62 girls).
RESULTS: Our results demonstrated that the incidence of depressive symptoms was 63% in the first BW quartile and 20% in the fourth quartile. Similarly, we observed that anxiety symptoms were present in 83% of the adolescents in the first BW quartile, followed by 36% in the fourth BW quartile. After adjustment, our study identified potential risk factors that were associated with anxiety symptoms, including female gender (P=0.026) and having a BW in the first quartile (P=0.049). Moreover, the adjusted odds of having depression were 4.5 times higher in adolescents with BW in the lowest quartile (P=0.035). We also found that the incidence of depressive symptoms among females was 61% in the first BW quartile and 30% in the fourth BW quartile and that it was 67% versus 12%, respectively, among males. Finally, a model that used anxiety symptoms as the dependent variable produced similar data.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that a deleterious fetal environment appears to have a significant impact on psychiatric issues.


KEY WORDS: Adolescent - Depression - Depressive disorder - Anxiety - Birth weight

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