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Poverty from fetal life onward and child brain morphology

Koyama, Yuna; Hidalgo, Andrea P Cortes; Lacey, Rebecca E; White, Tonya; Jansen, Pauline W; Fujiwara, Takeo; Tiemeier, Henning; (2023) Poverty from fetal life onward and child brain morphology. Scientific Reports , 13 (1) , Article 1295. 10.1038/s41598-023-28120-2. Green open access

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Abstract

Poverty is a risk factor for impaired child development, an association possibly mediated by brain morphology. Previous studies lacked prospective poverty assessments during pregnancy and did not stratify by majority/minority status. We investigated the association of household poverty from fetal life forward with brain morphological differences at age 10 years, in 2166 mother-child dyads. Overall, the results showed no associations between any poverty exposure early in life and brain volumes. However, there was the evidence of timing effects: children exposed to poverty in utero had smaller amygdala volumes (B =  - 0.18, 95%CI - 0.30; - 0.07, pFDR-adjusted = 0.009). There were also differences in associations by majority/minority status (cerebral white matter: p for interaction = 0.04). Dutch children exposed to childhood poverty showed smaller cerebral white matter volumes than their control (B =  - 0.26, 95%CI - 0.45; - 0.06, pFDR-adjusted = 0.035). This association was not observed in the minority population (B =  - 0.05, 95%CI - 0.23; 0.12, pFDR-adjusted = 0.542). The smaller cerebral white matter volume mediated the association between childhood poverty and poorer school performance in Dutch children. Our findings point to the importance of poverty exposure in the fetal period and suggest different mechanisms and vulnerabilities across majority/minority groups.

Type: Article
Title: Poverty from fetal life onward and child brain morphology
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-28120-2
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-28120-2
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Pregnancy, Female, Humans, Child, Prospective Studies, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Poverty, White Matter, Prenatal Care, Brain
UCL classification: UCL
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 Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10164209
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