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Prenatal and childhood adversity and inflammation in children: A population-based longitudinal study

Flouri, E; Francesconi, M; Midouhas, E; Papachristou, E; Lewis, G; (2020) Prenatal and childhood adversity and inflammation in children: A population-based longitudinal study. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity , 87 pp. 524-530. 10.1016/j.bbi.2020.01.024. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Stressful life events experienced during childhood and early prenatal development have been associated with inflammation during childhood. However, no study has considered these two exposures jointly, or has investigated the effect of their interaction. METHODS: In the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a general-population birth cohort, we explored if inflammatory markers [serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin 6 (IL-6)] at age 9 years were related to early prenatal events (at 18 weeks pregnancy), childhood events (measured on seven occasions at ages 0-9 years) and their interaction (n=3,915). Latent growth curve modelling estimated trajectories of childhood events, and linear regression explored associations of prenatal and childhood events with inflammatory markers. Models controlled for ethnicity, socioeconomic status and body mass index, were stratified by gender and considered both unweighted and weighted (by impact) event exposures. RESULTS: Even after adjustment for confounders and prenatal events, both the intercept and the slope of number of childhood events were associated with IL-6, but only in females. The significant effect of the slope held for both weighted (by impact) and unweighted event specifications. Prenatal events were not associated with either inflammatory marker when childhood events were controlled. There was no evidence for synergistic effects of prenatal and childhood events. CONCLUSION: Independently of prenatal adverse life events, the number and increase in number of adverse life events experienced in childhood were associated positively with plasma levels of inflammatory markers, such as IL-6, in girls. This gender specificity warrants further research.

Type: Article
Title: Prenatal and childhood adversity and inflammation in children: A population-based longitudinal study
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2020.01.024
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2020.01.024
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10090921
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