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1.  High-dose infliximab for treatment of pediatric ulcerative colitis: A survey of clinical practice 
AIM: To assess attitudes and trends regarding the use of high-dose infliximab among pediatric gastroenterologists for treatment of pediatric ulcerative colitis (UC).
METHODS: A 19-item survey was distributed to subscribers of the pediatric gastroenterology (PEDSGI) listserv. Responses were submitted anonymously and results compiled in a secure website.
RESULTS: A total of 113 subscribers (88% based in the United States) responded (101 pediatric gastroenterology attendings and 12 pediatric gastroenterology fellows). There were 46% in academic medical institutions and 39% in hospital-based practices. The majority (91%) were treating >10 patients with UC; 13% were treating >100 patients with UC; 91% had prescribed infliximab (IFX) 5 mg/kg for UC; 72% had prescribed IFX 10 mg/kg for UC. Using a 5-point Likert scale, factors that influenced the decision not to increase IFX dosing in patients with UC included: “improvement on initial dose of IFX” (mean: 3.88) and “decision to move to colectomy” (3.69). Lowest mean Likert scores were: “lack of guidelines or literature regarding increased IFX dosing” (1.96) and “insurance authorization or other insurance issues” (2.34). “Insurance authorization or other insurance issues” was identified by 39% as at least somewhat of a factor (Likert score ≥ 3) in their decision not to increase the IFX dose. IFX 10 mg/kg was more commonly used for the treatment of pediatric UC among responders based in the United States (75/100) compared to non-United States responders (6/13, P = 0.047). Induction of remission was reported by 78% of all responders and 81% reported maintenance of remission with IFX 10 mg/kg. One responder reported one death with IFX 10 mg/kg.
CONCLUSION: IFX 10 mg/kg is more commonly used in the United States to treat pediatric UC. Efficacy and safety data are required to avoid insurance barriers for its use.
PMCID: PMC3309912  PMID: 22468086
Immunosuppression; Inflammatory bowel disease; Ulcerative colitis; Children; Pharmacology
2.  Maternal Prepregnancy Body Mass Index and Initiation and Duration of Breastfeeding: A Review of the Literature 
Journal of Women's Health  2011;20(3):341-347.
Previous studies have found an association between maternal obesity and overweight and breastfeeding (BF) difficulties, including delayed lactogenesis and shorter duration of BF. Biological, psychological, and mechanical causes have been linked with poor BF outcomes. Other review articles on this topic have included studies that measured maternal body mass index (BMI) in the postpartum period instead of prenatally, presenting difficulties in teasing out the role of gestational weight gain and prepregnancy BMI on BF success. My objective was to evaluate the relationship between maternal prepregnancy BMI, including comorbidites associated with overweight and obesity such as diabetes mellitus, and BF initiation and duration.
Four PubMed searches were conducted, retrieving 13 articles.
Of the 12 studies reviewed that assessed the association between prepregnancy maternal BMI category and BF initiation, 9 found an association between maternal overweight or obesity and delayed lactogenesis or failure to initiate BF. One study found increased risk for not initiating BF only in Hispanic women, and 1 found the association only among women with medical comorbidities in addition to obesity. Of the 13 studies retrieved that assessed the association between BMI category and BF duration, 10 found an association between higher BMI categories and shorter duration of BF. Ten of the 13 studies reviewed adjusted for multiple confounders, including maternal smoking status, parity, type of delivery, and infant birthweight. The studies that found an association between BMI category and reduced duration did so in some cases only for certain ethnic/racial groups or BMI categories or if other comorbidities were present in addition to overweight/obesity.
Higher BMI levels can adversely impact BF initiation and duration. Further studies need to be conducted to better understand the role of race/ethnicity, gestational weight gain, and such comorbidities as diabetes in increasing risk for reduced BF initiation and duration in overweight and obese women.
PMCID: PMC3058894  PMID: 21434834
3.  Maternal knowledge of infant feeding guidelines and label reading behaviours in a population of new mothers in San Francisco, California 
Maternal & child nutrition  2009;5(3):223-233.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between maternal nutrition knowledge and maternal socio-demographics including participation in the Special Supplemental Women, Infants and Children’s (WIC) Program. A cross-sectional study of new mothers at two San Francisco hospitals was conducted using some of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines in a structured questionnaire to assess maternal nutritional knowledge. Maternal nutritional attitudes towards product nutrient labels were also assessed in a questionnaire format. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the odds of having high maternal nutrition knowledge and of infrequently reading nutrition labels. In multivariate logistic regression models, higher maternal nutrition knowledge (defined as answering all four nutrition questions correctly) was associated with higher income levels defined as ≥$25 000/year, odds ratio (OR) 10.03 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.51–66.74), and in linear models, higher nutritional knowledge was associated with having more children (P < 0.01), a higher income (P = 0.01) and not being a WIC participant (P < 0.01). Mothers with higher incomes were also more likely to read product nutritional labels OR 4.24, 95% CI (1.24–14.51), compared with mothers with lower incomes as were mothers with higher education levels OR 3.32, 95% CI (1.28–8.63). In San Francisco, lower income mothers are at greatest risk for low maternal nutrition knowledge and not reading product nutritional labels. Higher household income was independently associated with increased maternal nutrition knowledge and likelihood of reading nutritional labels. More comprehensive interventions need to target low-income mothers including current WIC participants to help close the nutritional advantages gap conferred by income and education.
PMCID: PMC3252047  PMID: 19888918
maternal nutrition knowledge; nutrient labels; WIC Program
5.  Hyperphosphatemia is associated with anemia in adults without chronic kidney disease: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES): 2005–2010 
BMC Nephrology  2013;14:178.
Hyperphosphatemia, serum phosphorus ≥ 4.4 mg/dL, is associated with increased risk for chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease. Previous studies have shown a weak association between dietary phosphorus intake and serum phosphorus concentrations. While much less common in the general population, hypophosphatemia (< 2.5 mg/dL) may be associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity.
Using three cycles from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) (2005–2010), this study evaluated independent risk factors for hyperphosphatemia and hypophosphatemia.
Risk factors for hyperphosphatemia included higher adjusted calcium (OR 2.90, 95% CI 2.43-3.45), increasing cholesterol (OR 1.003, 95% CI 1.001-1.005), female gender (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.39-1.87) and low hemoglobin (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.17-1.98). Advanced age was protective (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.977-0.987). Models that included fasting serum glucose found lower body mass index (BMI) to be protective (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.96-0.99) and adjusting for serum vitamin D and parathyroid hormone removed the association with low hemoglobin and BMI. Risk factors for hypophosphatemia included the following protective factors: higher albumin (OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.35-0.93), higher BUN (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.86, 0.95), corrected calcium (OR 0.38, 95% CI 0.23-0.63) and female gender (OR 0.47, 95% 0.24-0.94). In men, higher fasting glucose levels increased risk (OR 1.01, 95% CI 1.0004-1.01).
This study is the first to show an association between low hemoglobin levels and increased risk for hyperphosphatemia among individuals without chronic kidney disease. We did not find any association between diabetes mellitus, increasing BMI or fasting glucose levels and hypophosphatemia.
PMCID: PMC3765322  PMID: 23965134
Hyperphosphatemia; Hypophosphatemia; Lower socioeconomic status; Anemia; Obesity
6.  Bimodal Distribution of Risk for Childhood Obesity in Urban Baja California, Mexico 
In Mexico, higher socioeconomic status (SES) has been found to be associated with increased risk for obesity in children. Within developed urban areas, however, there may be increased risk among lower SES children. Students in grades 4–6 from five public schools in Tijuana and Tecate, Mexico, were interviewed and weight, height and waist circumference (WC) measurements were taken. Interviews consisted of questions on food frequency, food insecurity, acculturation, physical activity and lifestyle practices. Multivariate logistic models were used to assess risk factors for obesity (having a body mass index [BMI] ≥95th percentile) and abdominal obesity (a WC >90th percentile) using Stata 11.0. Five hundred and ninety students were enrolled; 43.7% were overweight or obese, and 24.3% were obese and 20.2% had abdominal obesity. Independent risk factors for obesity included watching TV in English (odds ratio [OR] 1.60, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.06–2.41) and perceived child food insecurity (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.05–2.36). Decreased risk for obesity was associated with female sex (OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.43–0.96), as was regular multivitamin use (OR 0.63, 95% CI 0.42–0.94). Risk obesity was also decreased with increased taco consumption (≥1×/week; OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.43–0.96). Independent risk factors for abdominal obesity included playing video games ≥1×/week (OR 1.18, 95% CI 1.11–2.96) and older age group (10–11 years, OR 2.47, 95% CI 1.29–4.73 and ≥12 years, OR 2.21, 95% CI 1.09–4.49). Increased consumption of tacos was also associated with decreased risk for abdominal obesity (≥1×/week; OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.40–1.00). We found a bimodal distribution for risk of obesity and abdominal obesity in school aged children on the Mexican border with the United States. Increased risk for obesity and abdominal obesity were associated with factors indicative of lower and higher SES including watching TV in English, increased video game playing and perceived food insecurity. Increased consumption of tacos (≥1×/week) was associated with decreased risk, possibly suggesting an association with children from middle income families. Regular multivitamin use was protective and future studies may focus on micronutrient supplementation as a means to prevent obesity in children or further investigate factors associated with vitamin use. Additionally, future studies need to examine the processes of acculturation on both sides of the US–Mexican border that contribute to increased risk for obesity in children in relation to SES.
PMCID: PMC3535143  PMID: 22669641
Obesity; Mexico; Acculturation; SES
7.  Maternal sociodemographic characteristics and the use of the Iowa Infant Attitude Feeding Scale to describe breastfeeding initiation and duration in a population of urban, Latina mothers: a prospective cohort study 
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age. Maternal attitudes toward infant feeding are correlated with chosen feeding method and breastfeeding duration. The Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale (IIFAS) has been used to assess attitudes towards breastfeeding prenatally and is predictive of breastfeeding decisions in certain population groups.
In a cohort of pregnant Latina women recruited from two hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area (n=185), we administered the IIFAS prior to delivery. Information regarding feeding choice, maternal sociodemographic information, and anthropometrics were collected at 6 months and 1 year postpartum. Analysis of predictors for breastfeeding initiation, breastfeeding at 6 and 12 months and exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months were evaluated using multivariate logistic regression adjusting for potential confounders.
In our cohort of Latina mothers, breastfeeding a previous infant was associated with breastfeeding initiation (OR 8.29 [95% CI 1.00, 68.40] p = 0.05) and breastfeeding at 6 months (OR 18.34 [95% CI 2.01, 167.24] p = 0.01). College education was associated with increased exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months (OR 58.67 [95% CI 4.97, 692.08] p = 0.001) and having other children was associated with reduced breastfeeding at six months (OR 0.08 [95% CI 0.01, 0.70] p = 0.02). A higher IIFAS score was not associated with breastfeeding initiation, breastfeeding at 6 or 12 months or exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months of age.
Initial choices about breastfeeding will likely influence future breastfeeding decisions, so breastfeeding interventions should specifically target new mothers. Mothers with other children also need additional encouragement to maintain breastfeeding until 6 months of age. The IIFAS, while predictive of breastfeeding decisions in other population groups, was not associated with feeding decisions in our population of Latina mothers.
PMCID: PMC3711781  PMID: 23835065
Breastfeeding; Latina; Lower socioeconomic status; Obesity
8.  Gastroesophageal Reflux is Not Associated with Dental Erosion in Children 
Gastroenterology  2011;141(5):1605-1611.
Background & Aims
Dental erosion is a complication of gastroesophageal reflux (GER) in adults; in children, it is not clear if GER has a role in dental pathologic conditions. Dietary intake, oral hygiene, high bacterial load, and decreased salivary flow might contribute independently to GER development or dental erosion, but their potential involvement in dental erosion from GER is not understood. We investigated the prevalence of dental erosion among children with and without GER symptoms, and whether salivary flow rate or bacterial load contribute to location-specific dental erosion.
We performed a cross-sectional study of 59 children (ages 9–17 y) with symptoms of GER and 20 asymptomatic children (controls); all completed a questionnaire on dietary exposure. Permanent teeth were examined for erosion into dentin, erosion locations, and affected surfaces. The dentist was not aware of GER status, nor was the gastroenterologist aware of dental status. Stimulated salivary flow was measured and salivary bacterial load was calculated for total bacteria, Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacilli.
Controlling for age, dietary intake, and oral hygiene, there was no association between GER symptoms and dental erosion, by tooth location or affected surface. Salivary flow did not correlate with GER symptoms or erosion. Erosion location and surface were independent of total bacteria and levels of Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacilli.
Location-specific dental erosion is not associated with GER, salivary flow, or bacterial load. Prospective studies are required to determine the pathogenesis of GER-associated dental erosion and the relationship between dental caries to GER and dental erosion.
PMCID: PMC3202657  PMID: 21820389
tooth wear; mechanism; risk assessment; pediatrics
9.  Adolescent nutritional awareness and use of food labels: Results from the national nutrition health and examination survey 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:55.
Awareness of federal nutrition programs and use of the nutrition facts label are associated with reduced risk for obesity and increased intake of fruits and vegetables. Relationships between nutrition programs, use of food labels and risk for overweight and obesity have rarely been evaluated in adolescents.
Using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2005–6, we evaluated the frequency of nutrition awareness of USDA and CDC nutrition programs and use of food labels in adolescents. Risk for overweight (BMI ≥ 85-94th percentile) and obesity (BMI ≥ 95th percentile) was assessed in relation to nutrition awareness and label reading.
Most adolescents (92.4%) were aware of the Food Guide Pyramid. Fewer (43.5%) were aware of the 5-A-Day Program, and even less (29.3%) were aware of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Less than 25% of adolescents decided which foods to purchase by reading material on the nutrition facts label. There were significant racial and ethnic differences in awareness of federal nutrition programs with Mexican-Americans having the lowest levels of awareness of the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Food Guide Pyramid in comparison with other groups. Non-Hispanic whites had higher and African-American adolescents had lower frequencies of reading fat information on the nutrition label in comparison to Mexican-American and other Hispanics. Awareness of other nutrition programs or of other information on the nutrition facts label was not associated with increased or decreased risk for overweight or obesity.
Use of the nutrition facts panel information is low among US adolescents. Additionally, less than half of adolescents are aware of federal nutrition programs including the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Future studies should evaluate avenues to make nutrition information more accessible to young Americans.
PMCID: PMC3407473  PMID: 22639924
10.  The Zambia Children's KS-HHV8 Study: Rationale, Study Design, and Study Methods 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2011;173(9):1085-1092.
The epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus in Zambia has led to a dramatic rise in the incidence of human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8)–associated Kaposi's sarcoma in both adults and children. However, there is a paucity of knowledge about the routes of HHV-8 transmission to young children. The Zambia Children's KS-HHV8 Study, a large, prospective cohort study in Lusaka, Zambia, was launched in 2004 to investigate the role of household members as a source of HHV-8 infection in young children and social behaviors that may modify the risk of HHV-8 acquisition. This cohort is distinct from other epidemiologic studies designed to investigate HHV-8 incidence and transmission because it recruited and followed complete households in the urban central African context. Between July 2004 and March 2007, 1,600 households were screened; 368 households comprising 464 children and 1,335 caregivers and household members were enrolled. Follow-up of this population continued for 48 months postrecruitment, affording a unique opportunity to study horizontal transmission of HHV-8 and understand the routes and sources of transmission to young children in Zambia. The authors describe the study rationale, design, execution, and characteristics of this cohort, which provides critical data on the epidemiology and transmission of HHV-8 to young children in Zambia.
PMCID: PMC3121218  PMID: 21447476
cohort studies; herpesvirus 8, human; incidence; sarcoma, Kaposi; Zambia
11.  Impact of Gluten-free Camp on Quality of Life of Children and Adolescents with Celiac Disease 
Pediatrics  2010;125(3):e525-e529.
A gluten-free camp allows children with celiac disease (CD) to enjoy a camp experience without concern and preoccupation with foods they eat or the stigma of their underlying disease. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of gluten-free camp on quality-of-life indicators for children and adolescents with CD.
Children aged 7 to 17 years with CD were administered a 14-question survey at the beginning and the end of a 7-day gluten-free camp. Surveys used a Likert scale to examine general well-being, emotional outlook, and self-perception for the week before each survey. Differences between the time points were compared. Data were analyzed by paired t test.
Of the 104 campers who attended camp, 77 (21 male) completed the survey at both time points. Most (70%) had been on a glutenfree diet (GFD) for <4 years. All seemed to benefit from camp, no longer feeling different from other kids or feeling frustrated with a restricted diet. A more beneficial impact was found for campers who were on a GFD for <4 years. Overall, campers reported an improvement in 11 of 14 questions, statistically significant (P <.05) for 8 of those 11 questions. Improvement was observed in each of the 3 categories of questions: well-being, self-perception, and emotional outlook.
Children who had CD and attended a week-long glutenfree camp demonstrated improvement in well-being, self-perception, and emotional outlook. The positive effects of camp were more apparent among campers who had been on a GFD for <4 years compared with those who had been on a GFD for ≥4 years, suggesting an adaptation to CD with time. A gluten-free camp that provides an environment of unrestricted foods can at least temporarily alleviate stress and anxiety around food and social interactions. Durability of these observations on return to daily life requires additional study.
PMCID: PMC3334335  PMID: 20156892
pediatric; sprue; quality of life
12.  Body Mass Index and Elbow Range of Motion in a Healthy Pediatric Population: A Possible Mechanism of Overweight in Children 
Childhood overweight has become a serious health problem among children and adolescents in the United States. No previous study, to our knowledge, has analyzed the effect of body mass index (BMI) on range of motion and carrying angle of the elbow joint in a healthy pediatric population. The primary objective of this study was to determine the effect of BMI on orthopedic parameters of the elbow joint, including range of motion, flexion, extension, and carrying angle.
Study Participants and Methods
Healthy children age 2 to 18 years (mean 12.0 ± 3.9 years) were recruited at an urban pediatric orthopedic clinic as pediatric orthopedic patients or as the siblings or friends of patients. Measures of range of motion (flexion and extension) and carrying angle of 226 elbows and of BMI from 113 study participants were analyzed.
BMI was negatively correlated with right and left elbow range of motion (r = −0.54, P <0.01; r = −0.43, P <0.01) and right and left elbow flexion (r = −0.59, P <0.01; r = −0.50, P <0.01). BMI had a positive correlation with right elbow extension (r = 0.20, P = 0.04). BMI did not correlate with left elbow extension or right or left carrying angle. After adjustment for age, sex, and ethnic group, BMI was associated with right (P <0.01) and left (P <0.01) elbow range of motion.
These data demonstrate that increased BMI in children is negatively correlated with range of motion of the elbow joint. Further studies are needed to evaluate the consequences of impaired range of motion associated with overweight on activity levels and energy expenditure in growing children and adolescents.
PMCID: PMC3252045  PMID: 18223380
Pediatric; Body mass index; Orthopedic surgery; Anthropometric; Elbow joint; Range of motion; Childhood overweight; Obesity
14.  Infant Formula, Tea, and Water Supplementation of Latino Infants at 4–6 Weeks Postpartum 
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months- of-age. The authors examined prevalence and risk factors for use of infant formulas, water, and teas at 4–6 weeks in Latino infants in the San Francisco Bay Area, a group at high risk for future obesity. They recruited a cohort of pregnant Latina women (N = 201). Infant dietary recall and postpartum depressive symptoms were assessed at 4–6 weeks. The authors found that 105 women (53.1%) were feeding infant formulas and 48 (25.4%) were supplementing with tea or water. Of those providing water or tea, 60.0% were providing daily supplementation. In multivariate analyses, risk for infant supplementation with water or tea was associated with postpartum depressive symptoms (relative risk, 1.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.1–3.0), cesarean delivery (relative risk, 1.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.3–2.9), and infant formula use (relative risk, 1.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.1–1.6). Early supplementation with water or teas and infant formulas should be discouraged in Latinos, given the high frequency observed in this population. J Hum Lact. 27(2):122–130.
PMCID: PMC3139537  PMID: 21527796
perinatal depression; breastfeeding; infant feeding; complementary feeding; risk factors
15.  Bridewealth and sexual and reproductive practices among women in Harare, Zimbabwe 
AIDS care  2010;22(6):705-710.
This paper examines the relationship between bridewealth, socio-demographics, and sexual and reproductive practices among a group of women in Harare, Zimbabwe. The study sample was recruited as part of a six-month safety trial of the diaphragm and a microbicide, between August 2004 and April 2005 in Harare, Zimbabwe. Women underwent two screening visits: first, women completed a demographic and behavioral interviewer-administered questionnaire which included questions on bridewealth; at the second visit, women were offered HIV testing and counseling. Our results included: 417 women were married (currently or in the past) and almost half had had bridewealth negotiated as part of the marriage process. In multivariate analyses, women who were married with bridewealth had more years of education (OR 1.17, 95%CI 1.03–1.32), a higher age of coital debut (OR 1.37, 95%CI 1.09–1.71), and increased likelihood of having ever used male condoms (OR 1.54, 95%CI 1.01–2.37) compared with women who had been married without bridewealth. Bridewealth may be a relevant area of traditional culture to further examine in relation to HIV risk, for its potential association with co-factors that can reduce risk of HIV infection among women in Southern Africa.
PMCID: PMC3139542  PMID: 20467936
bridewealth; Zimbabwe; women’s sexual health; HIV/AIDS; reproductive health
16.  Postoperative Outcome of Colectomy for Pediatric Patients With Ulcerative Colitis 
Few studies have reported on the surgical outcomes of colectomy in pediatric patients with ulcerative colitis (UC).
Patients and Methods
We conducted a retrospective chart review of all pediatric patients diagnosed with UC who underwent colectomy at UCSF between 1980 and 2005 to identify early (within 30 days) and later complications of surgery.
Complete medical records were available for 31 patients [12.4 ± 3.3 (range 6–19) years] with UC who underwent colectomy at UCSF Children’s Hospital. Total colectomy with ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA) was performed in 21 of the 31 patients (12 without diverting ileostomy). Five of the 31 patients had an initial colectomy with IPAA and J-pouch performed later; 4 had an initial subtotal colectomy for urgent indications. Only one of 31 had IPAA with S-pouch. The median number of early postoperative complications was 1.0; 4 required additional surgery to treat complications. The most common early complications were small intestinal obstruction in 6 (19%) and wound infection in 4 (13%). Preoperative medications included corticosteroids in 25 (81%), 6-mercaptopurine/azathioprine in 10 (32%), and 5-aminosalicylates in 19 (61%). Medication exposure was not related to postoperative complications. Late complications included pouchitis in 12 (39%), anastomotic, anal, or rectal strictures in 5 (16%), and fistulas in 5 (16%); 1 (3%) was subsequently diagnosed as having Crohn disease.
Postcolectomy morbidity is common among pediatric patients with UC. Preoperative medications were not associated with postoperative complications. Investigations to determine preoperative factors affecting surgical outcomes and long-term satisfaction following this surgery in a large pediatric cohort are needed.
PMCID: PMC3119923  PMID: 20410838
adolescents; children; complications; corticosteroids; inflammatory bowel disease; pouchitis; prednisone; surgery
17.  Maternal omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and risk for perinatal maternal depression 
A systematic review was conducted to assess the possible association between omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) supplementation and intake in the perinatal period and the risk of maternal perinatal depression.
Two PubMed searches and a BIOSIS Preview, a Web of Science and a PsychInfo search were conducted with the search terms ‘DHA, pregnancy and depression’ and ‘omega-3 fatty acids, pregnancy and depression’.
Ten articles – three longitudinal cohort studies, five randomized controlled trials and two pilot trials– that met selection criteria were reviewed. Six found no association, two found mixed results, and two found a positive association between omega-3 PUFAs and reduced incidence of maternal perinatal depression. The heterogeneity of results can be explained by dissimilar study designs, including differences in study duration, time period of measurement and number of participants, and in varied dosages and types of supplemental PUFAs. Some of the larger studies and those that found a positive effect were more likely to be using higher doses, close to 2 g of docosahexaeonic acid (DHA) + eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and began the supplementation earlier in pregnancy.
Future RCTs to investigate the role of PUFA supplementation and risk for maternal perinatal depression should begin supplementation early in pregnancy and use a dosage closer to 2 g of DHA + EPA. Depression should also be measured using a diagnostic interview schedule in addition to a screener.
PMCID: PMC3119925  PMID: 20925595
Omega-3; DHA; perinatal depression
18.  Chronic Maternal Depression Is Associated with Reduced Weight Gain in Latino Infants from Birth to 2 Years of Age 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(2):e16737.
Latino children are at increased risk for mirconutrient deficiencies and problems of overweight and obesity. Exposures in pregnancy and early postpartum may impact future growth trajectories.
To evaluate the relationship between prenatal and postnatal maternal depressive symptoms experienced in pregnancy and infant growth from birth to 2 years of age in a cohort of Latino infants.
We recruited pregnant Latina mothers at two San Francisco hospitals and followed their healthy infants to 24 months of age. At 6, 12 and 24 months of age, infants were weighed and measured. Maternal depressive symptoms were assessed prenatally and at 4-6 weeks postpartum. Women who had high depressive symptoms at both time periods were defined as having chronic depression. Logistic mixed models were applied to compare growth curves and risk for overweight and underweight based on exposure to maternal depression.
We followed 181 infants to 24 months. At 12 and 24 months, respectively, 27.4% and 40.5% were overweight, and 5.6% and 2.2% were underweight. Exposure to chronic maternal depression was associated with underweight (OR = 12.12, 95%CI 1.86-78.78) and with reduced weight gain in the first 2 years of life (Coef = -0.48, 95% CI -0.94—0.01) compared with unexposed infants or infants exposed to episodic depression (depression at one time point). Exposure to chronic depression was also associated with reduced risk for overweight in the first 2 years of life (OR 0.28, 95%CI 0.03-0.92).
Exposure to chronic maternal depression in the pre- and postnatal period was associated with reduced weight gain in the first two years of life and greater risk for failure to thrive, in comparison with unexposed infants or those exposed episodically. The infants of mothers with chronic depression may need additional nutritional monitoring and intervention.
PMCID: PMC3044151  PMID: 21373638
19.  Early Exclusive Breastfeeding and Maternal Attitudes Towards Infant Feeding in a Population of New Mothers in San Francisco, California 
Breastfeeding Medicine  2010;5(1):9-15.
Positive parental attitudes towards infant feeding are an important component in child nutritional health. Previous studies have found that participants in the Special Supplemental Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program have lower breastfeeding rates and attitudes that do not contribute towards healthy infant feeding in spite of breastfeeding and nutrition education programs targeting WIC participants. The objective of this study was to assess the frequency of exclusive breastfeeding in the early postpartum period and maternal attitudes towards breastfeeding in a population of mothers at two San Francisco hospitals and in relation to WIC participation status.
We interviewed women who had recently delivered a healthy newborn using a structured interview.
A high percentage (79.8%) of our sample was exclusively breastfeeding at 1–4 days postpartum. We did not find any significant differences in rates of formula or mixed feeding by WIC participant status. Independent risk factors for mixed or formula feeding at 1–3 days postpartum included Asian/Pacific Islander ethnicity (odds ratio [OR] 2.90, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.17–7.19). Being a college graduate was associated with a decreased risk of formula/mixed feeding (OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.10–0.79). We also found that thinking breastfeeding was physically painful and uncomfortable was independently associated with not breastfeeding (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.06–1.89).
Future studies should be conducted with Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders to better understand the lower rates of exclusive breastfeeding in this population and should address negative attitudes towards breastfeeding such as the idea that breastfeeding is painful or uncomfortable.
PMCID: PMC2936253  PMID: 19772374
20.  Risk factors for high anti-HHV-8 antibody titers (≥1:51,200) in black, HIV-1 negative South African cancer patients: a case control study 
Infection with human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), also known as Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), is the necessary causal agent in the development of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). Infection with HIV-1, male gender and older age all increase risk for KS. However, the geographic distribution of HHV-8 and KS both prior to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and with HIV/AIDS suggest the presence of an additional co-factor in the development of KS.
Between January 1994 and October 1997, we interviewed 2576 black in-patients with cancer in Johannesburg and Soweto, South Africa. Blood was tested for antibodies against HIV-1 and HHV-8 and the study was restricted to 2191 HIV-1 negative patients. Antibodies against the latent nuclear antigen of HHV-8 encoded by orf73 were detected with an indirect immunofluorescence assay. We examined the relationship between high anti-HHV-8 antibody titers (≥1:51,200) and sociodemographic and behavioral factors using unconditional logistic regression models. Variables that were significant at p = 0.10 were included in multivariate analysis.
Of the 2191 HIV-1 negative patients who did not have Kaposi's sarcoma, 854 (39.0%) were positive for antibodies against HHV-8 according to the immunofluorescent assay. Among those seropositive for HHV-8, 530 (62.1%) had low titers (1:200), 227 (26.6%) had medium titers (1:51,200) and 97 (11.4%) had highest titers (1:204,800). Among the 2191 HIV-1 negative patients, the prevalence of high anti-HHV-8 antibody titers (≥1:51,200) was independently associated with increasing age (ptrend = 0.04), having a marital status of separated or divorced (p = 0.003), using wood, coal or charcoal as fuel for cooking 20 years ago instead of electricity (p = 0.02) and consuming traditional maize beer more than one time a week (p = 0.02; p-trend for increasing consumption = 0.05) although this may be due to chance given the large number of predictors considered in this analysis.
Among HIV-negative subjects, patients with high anti-HHV-8 antibody titers are characterized by older age. Other associations that may be factors in the development of high anti-HHV-8 titers include exposure to poverty or a low socioeconomic status environment and consumption of traditional maize beer. The relationship between these variables and high anti-HHV-8 titers requires further, prospective study.
PMCID: PMC222909  PMID: 12971827
KSHV/HHV-8; Kaposi's sarcoma; South Africa; high anti-HHV-8 antibody titers.

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