Association between maternal depression and anxiety episodes and rates of childhood injuries: a cohort study from England

Baker, Ruth and Kendrick, Denise and Tata, Laila J. and Orton, Elizabeth (2017) Association between maternal depression and anxiety episodes and rates of childhood injuries: a cohort study from England. Injury Prevention . ISSN 1475-5785

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Abstract

Background: Maternal depression is common and associated with several child health outcomes. The impact on childhood injuries is underexplored, with existing studies relying on maternal reporting of injury occurrences. Using population healthcare databases from England, we assessed the association between maternal depression and/or anxiety episodes and rates of child poisonings, fractures, burns and serious injuries.

Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study of 207,048 mother-child pairs with linked primary care and hospitalisation data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink and Hospital Episode Statistics, 1998-2013. Episodes of maternal depression and/or anxiety were identified using diagnoses, prescriptions and hospitalisations, with the child’s follow-up time divided into exposed and unexposed periods. Adjusted incidence rate ratios (aIRR) for child injury during maternal mental health episodes were estimated using Poisson regression.

Results: 54,702 children (26.4%) were exposed to maternal depression and/or anxiety when aged 0-4 years. During follow-up 2,614 poisonings, 6,088 fractures and 4,201 burns occurred. Child poisoning rates increased during episodes of maternal depression (aIRR 1.52, 95% confidence interval 1.31-1.76), depression with anxiety (2.30, 1.93-2.75) and anxiety alone (1.63, 1.09-2.43). Similarly, rates of burns (1.53, 1.29-1.81) and fractures (1.24, 1.06-1.44) were greatest during depression with anxiety episodes. There was no association between maternal depression and/or anxiety and serious child injuries.

Conclusions: Maternal depression and/or anxiety episodes were associated with increased rates of child poisonings, fractures and burns. Whilst mechanisms are unclear, prompt identification and treatment of maternal depression and/or anxiety and provision of safety advice (e.g. safe medication storage) may reduce child injury risk.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2017 by the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
Keywords: Child, Injury, Mental health, Burn, Poisoning, Cohort study
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Primary Care
University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Epidemiology and Public Health
Identification Number: 10.1136/injuryprev-2016-042294
Depositing User: Pepper, Mrs Pamela
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2017 13:53
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2017 07:49
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/39966

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