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1.  The Impact of the Wenchuan Earthquake on Birth Outcomes 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(12):e8200.
Earthquakes and other catastrophic events frequently occurring worldwide can be considered as outliers and cause a growing and urgent need to improve our understanding of the negative effects imposed by such disasters. Earthquakes can intensively impact the birth outcomes upon psychological and morphological development of the unborn children, albeit detailed characteristics remain obscure.
Methods and Findings
We utilized the birth records at Du Jiang Yan and Peng Zhou counties to investigate the birth outcomes as a consequence of a major earthquake occurred in Wenchuan, China on May 12, 2008. Totally 13,003 of neonates were recorded, with 6638 and 6365 for pre- and post- earthquake, respectively. Significant low birthweight, high ratio of low birthweight, and low Apgar scores of post-earthquake group were observed. In contrast, the sex ratio at birth, birth length and length of gestation did not show statistical differences. The overall ratio of birth-defect in the post-earthquake (1.18%) is statistically high than that of pre-earthquake (0.99%), especially for those in the first trimester on earthquake day (1.47%). The birth-defect spectrum was dramatically altered after earthquake, with the markedly increased occurrences of ear malformations. The ratio of preterm birth post-earthquake (7.41%) is significant increased than that of pre-earthquake (5.63%). For the birth outcomes of twins, significant differences of the ratio of twins, birth weight, ratio of low birthweight and birth-defect rate were observed after earthquake.
A hospital-based study of birth outcomes impacted by the Wenchuan earthquake shows that the earthquake was associated with significant effects on birth outcomes, indicating it is a major monitor for long-term pregnant outcomes.
PMCID: PMC2781160  PMID: 19997649
2.  Childhood sexual abuse and the risk for recurrent major depression in Chinese women 
Psychological Medicine  2011;42(2):409-417.
Studies in Western countries have repeatedly shown that women with a history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) are at increased risk for developing major depression (MD). Would this relationship be found in China?
Three levels of CSA (non-genital, genital, and intercourse) were assessed by self-report in two groups of Han Chinese women: 1970 clinically ascertained with recurrent MD and 2597 matched controls. Diagnostic and other risk factor information was assessed at personal interview. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated by logistic regression and regression coefficients by linear or Poisson regression.
Any form of CSA was significantly associated with recurrent MD [OR 3.26, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.95–5.45]. This association strengthened with increasing CSA severity: non-genital (OR 2.47, 95% CI 1.17–5.23), genital (OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.32–5.83) and intercourse (OR 13.35, 95% CI 1.83–97.42). The association between any form of CSA and MD remained significant after accounting for parental history of depression, childhood emotional neglect (CEN), childhood physical abuse (CPA) and parent–child relationship. Among the depressed women, those with CSA had an earlier age of onset, longer depressive episodes and an increased risk for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.39–2.66) and dysthymia (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.52–3.09).
In Chinese women CSA is strongly associated with MD and this association increases with greater severity of CSA. Depressed women with CSA have an earlier age of onset, longer depressive episodes and increased co-morbidity with GAD and dysthymia. Although reporting biases cannot be ruled out, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that, as in Western countries, CSA substantially increases the risk for MD in China.
PMCID: PMC3250087  PMID: 21835095
Childhood sexual abuse; co-morbidity; major depression

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