The role of maternal anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa before and during pregnancy in early childhood wheezing: Findings from the NINFEA birth cohort study

About this resource

Objective This study evaluates associations of maternal eating disorders (bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and purging behaviors) with infant wheezing and examines the effects of eating disorders on several wheezing determinants. Method We studied 5,150 singletons from the NINFEA birth cohort. Maternal bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa diagnoses were ascertained from the questionnaires completed in pregnancy and 6 months after delivery, and were analyzed as: ever diagnosis, only before pregnancy, and during pregnancy. Purging behaviors were assessed for 12 months before or during pregnancy. The associations with wheezing between 6 and 18 months of age were assessed in models adjusted for a priori selected confounders. Results Children born to mothers with lifetime eating disorders were at an increased risk of developing wheezing (adjusted OR 1.68; [95% CI: 1.08, 2.60]), and this risk further increased when the disorders were active during pregnancy (2.52 [1.23, 5.19]). Increased risk of offspring wheezing was observed also for purging behaviors without history of eating disorder diagnosis (1.50 [1.10, 2.04]). The observed associations were not explained by comorbid depression and/or anxiety. Bulimia nervosa and/or anorexia nervosa during pregnancy were also associated with several risk factors for wheezing, including maternal smoking, adverse pregnancy outcomes, shorter breastfeeding duration, and day?care attendance. Discussion The associations of maternal eating disorders with offspring wheezing suggest long?term adverse respiratory outcomes in children of mothers with eating disorders. A better understanding of mechanisms implicated is necessary to help reduce the respiratory disease burden in these children.

AuthorPopovic, Maja; Pizzi, Costanza; Rusconi, Franca; Gagliardi, Luigi; Galassi, Claudia; Trevisan, Morena; Merletti, Franco; Richiardi, Lorenzo
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders

See also

Complement C3 serum levels in anorexia nervosa: a potential biomarker for the severity of disease?

Background: Anorexia nervosa carries the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.

Read more

Poor decision making in male patients with anorexia nervosa

OBJECTIVE: Decision making is impaired in female patients with anorexia nervosa (AN), but it is unclear if the same impairment is present in male patients with AN.

Read more

Typical and atypical anorexia nervosa in a Japanese sample

OBJECTIVE: We examined the existence of non-fat-phobic anorexia nervosa (NFP-AN) and fat-phobic AN, with no evidence of distortions related to body shape and weight (AN-NED), in a Japanese sample and studied eating disorder pathology and psychopathology in NFP-AN and AN-NED.

Read more

Elevation of liver function tests in severe anorexia nervosa

Objective: The purpose of this article is to clarify the finding of liver function test abnormalities in anorexia nervosa (AN).

Read more

Help us improve!

Give us feedback!

We will continue throughout 2020 to update and improve the NEDC website and welcome any feedback you may have on the site.

Provide feedback