[A cohort study of maternal pregnancy-related anxiety at different trimesters and infants' neurobehavioral development].


Shao SS(1), Huang K(1), Yan SQ(2), Zhu P(1), Hao JH(1), Tao FB(1).
Author information:
(1)Department of Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University/MOE Key Laboratory of Population Health Across Life Cycle/Anhui Provincial Key Laboratory of Population Health and Aristogenics, Hefei 230032, China.
(2)Maternal and Child Health Care Center of Ma'anshan, Ma'anshan 243000, Anhui Province, China.


Objective: To investigate the influence and critical period of pregnancy-related anxiety during pregnancy on the neurobehavioral development of infants. Methods: The subjects of this study were derived from the Ma'anshan Birth Corhot. From May 2013 to September 2014, a total of 3 474 pregnant women who registered in Ma 'anshan Maternal and Child Health Care Center were enrolled in the study. A total of 2 242 mother-infant pairs who completed three times assessments of maternal anxiety and at least once assessment of infants' neurobehavioral development were included in the final analysis. Maternal pregnancy-related anxiety was assessed by the Pregnancy-Related Anxiety Questionnaire during the first, second and third trimesters of pregnancy. When their children were at 6 and 18 months, their neurobehavioral development was evaluated using the Ages & Stages Questionnaire-China. The influence of maternal pregnancy-related anxiety on the neurobehavioral development of infants was analyzed by bi-nominal logistic regression. Results: The age of 2 242 pregnant women was (26.62±3.65) years, and the proportion of boys, low birth weight and exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months was 50% (1 120/2 242), 1.7% (38/2 242) and 11.5% (252/2 191), respectively. The detection rates of pregnancy-related anxiety during the first, second and third trimester were 24.9% (558), 28.6% (642) and 30.3% (674), respectively. After controlling confounding variables and other two trimester's anxiety, only pregnancy-related anxiety during the third trimester (not first or second trimester) significantly increased the risk of developmental delay in the domain of communication (relative risk, RR = 3.52, 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.89-6.58) and personal-social (RR=2.46, 95%CI: 1.10-5.49) at the 6 months of age, as well as in the domain of fine motor (RR=2.07, 95%CI: 1.11-3.85), problem-solving domains (RR=2.31, 95%CI: 1.24-4.31). Conclusion: Maternal pregnancy-related anxiety was associated with the risk of neurobehavioral development of infants, and the third trimester may be the critical period.