The article that grabbed my attention is the one at the top of the list, from May and colleagues, which suggests that fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are probably more common than we had previously estimated. Using a conservative method of estimation, the prevalence of FASD among first-graders in 4 US communities ranged from 1.1% to 5.0%. And that article led me to other studies looking at the use of other substances — tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, and opiates — during pregnancy. These studies all document relatively high rates of substance use in pregnant women. While these articles were fairly grim, there was one study (from Lowe and colleagues) suggesting that high maternal responsiveness may help to mitigate the deleterious effects of prenatal substance abuse.
Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD
May PA, Chambers CD, Kalberg WO, et al. JAMA. 2018 Feb 6;319(5):474-482.
In this study the estimated prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders among first-graders in 4 US communities ranged from 1.1% to 5.0%, which is around five times higher than observed in previous studies.
Lange S, Rehm J, Popova S.
JAMA. 2018 Feb 6;319(5):448-449.
Singer AB, Aylsworth AS, Cordero C, Croen LA, DiGuiseppi C, Fallin MD, Herring AH, Hooper SR, Pretzel RE, Schieve LA, Windham GC, Daniels JL. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2017 Nov;31(6):573-582.
These results do not support an adverse association between low-level alcohol exposure and autism spectrum disorders, although these findings were based on retrospective self-reported alcohol use. The most concerning finding is that 20% of women reported using alcohol during pregnancy.
Dukes K, Tripp T, Willinger M, et al. Alcohol. 2017 Aug;62:49-60.
Group modeling is used to describe smoking and drinking patterns. Future analyses will examine outcomes.
Goodwin RD, Cheslack-Postava K, Nelson DB, Smith PH, Wall MM, Hasin DS, Nomura Y, Galea S. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017 Oct 1;179:159-166.
Smoking is more common among pregnant women with, compared to without, major depression (32.5% vs. 13.0%; (adjusted OR=2.50)). Looking at data between 2005 and 2014, the prevalence of women smoking during pregnancy has increased significantly among women with major depression (35.9% to 38.4%) but showed a decreasing trend among women without major depression (12.5% to 9.1%).
Oh S, Salas-Wright CP, Vaughn MG, DiNitto DM. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017 Dec 1;181:229-233.
From 2005-2014, marijuana use prevalence among unmarried pregnant women increased from 5.4% to 10.0% while the prevalence among married pregnant women remained stable (mostly under 1.5%)
Lowe J, Qeadan F, Leeman L, Shrestha S, Stephen JM, Bakhireva LN. Early Hum Dev. 2017 Dec;115:51-59.
Higher maternal responsiveness was a much stronger predictor of infant behavior than prenatal exposures, suggesting that future interventions should focus on specific parenting strategies.
Elliott TE, Frail CK, Pawloski PA, Thomas AJ, Werner AM, Rossom RC. Clin J Pain. 2018 Feb 5.
Among 11,565 deliveries in 9690 unique women, 862 (7.5%) deliveries were associated with significant opioid use. Significant opioid use was associated with single marital status, Caesarean section, Medicaid coverage, tobacco use, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, substance use disorder, non-opioid analgesic use, and referral to physical therapy, psychotherapy, or pain specialists.
Denckla CA, Mancini AD, Consedine NS, Milanovic SM, Basu A, Seedat S, Spies G, Henderson DC, Bonanno GA, Koenen KC. Psychol Med. 2017 Sep 11:1-11.
Researchers use latent growth mixture modeling in a large, population-based cohort (N = 12 121) to investigate temporal patterns of depressive symptoms. Four distinct trajectories emerged, including resilient (74.3%), improving (9.2%), emergent (4.0%), and chronic (11.5%).
Fox M, Sandman CA, Davis EP, Glynn LM. Depress Anxiety. 2018 Feb 2.
Looking at different symptoms of perinatal depression, researchers noted that the Worry factor, comprising anxiety and guilt, was significantly more pronounced during the postpartum timepoint, and the Emotional/Circadian/Energetic Dysregulation factor, which contained sadness and anhedonia, was significantly less pronounced during the postpartum period.
Amini S, Jafarirad S, Amani R. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2018 Feb 2:1-7.
Five studies thus far have assessed the relationship between levels of vitamin D and PPD. Findings from cohort studies suggest that vitamin-D deficiency is related to the incidence of PPD.
Byatt N, Pbert L, Hosein S, Swartz HA, Weinreb L, Allison J, Ziedonis D. Psychiatr Serv. 2016 Aug 1;67(8):824-6. Free Article
A multidisciplinary work group of perinatal and behavioral health professionals was convened to design, refine, and beta-test PRISM in an obstetric practice. This program includes provider training and a toolkit, screening procedures, implementation assistance, and access to immediate psychiatric consultation. Beta testing with 50 patients over two months demonstrated feasibility and suggested that PRISM may improve provider screening rates and self-efficacy to address depression.
Gilbert AL, Balio C, Bauer NS. Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2017 Oct;47(10):267-277.
Accortt EE, Wong MS. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2017 Sep;72(9):553-568.
Learman LA. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Jan 31.
Taylor HS, Tal A, Pal L, Li F, et al. JAMA Intern Med. 2017 Oct 1; 177(10):1471-1479. Free Article
Treatment with transdermal, but not oral, estradiol modestly improved sexual function in early postmenopausal women.