To test the hypothesis that maternal depression during pregnancy and skin barrier dysfunction are associated the development of atopic dermatitis (AD) in infancy through immune responses.
METHODS: Study subjects consisted of 1,716 mother-baby pairs from the longitudinal Cohort for Childhood Origin of Asthma and Allergic Diseases (COCOA) birth cohort study. Prenatal stress scales were evaluated using self-reported questionnaires by Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CESD) on 36th weeks of pregnancy. AD in children was diagnosed by pediatric allergists at 1 year. Serum IgE and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) at 1 year and cord blood cytokine assay were measured.
RESULTS: Prenatal maternal depression was not associated with the risk of TEWL and AD at 1 year. High TEWL increased the risk of AD at 1 year (aOR 1.896, 95% CI 1.034-3.479). When divided into four groups using CESD and TEWL, high CESD and high TEWL showed a significant positive association with AD (aOR 5.487, 95% CI 1.572-19.148). Infants with high CESD and high TEWL had the highest ratio of IL-13 / IFN-γ in cord blood and serum IgE at 1 year among 4 groups.