B3736 - Lifecycle The role of maternal eating disorders in childhood wheezing asthma and lung function - 15/03/2021

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Maja Popovic | University of Turin, Department of Medical Sciences (Italy)
Prof Lorenzo Richiardi
Title of project: 
Lifecycle: The role of maternal eating disorders in childhood wheezing, asthma and lung function
Proposal summary: 

Maternal mental disorders have been shown to influence foetal development, increase the risk of pregnancy complications, and the risk of several perinatal and childhood outcomes, including wheezing and asthma. To date asthma research has been predominantly focused on the most frequent mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety, showing that these two disorders and broadly-defined maternal stress increase the risk of childhood respiratory diseases, most likely through the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The low prevalence of eating disorders, especially during pregnancy, makes challenging single study analyses, and collaborative projects that involve birth cohorts with prospectively collected data represent the best setting for elucidating the association between maternal eating disorders and childhood respiratory outcomes. In this project we will estimate the associations of maternal lifetime eating disorders with childhood preschool and school-age wheezing and asthma, and with childhood/adolescent lung function in several cohorts participating in the EU Child Cohort Network.

Impact of research: 
Eating disorders are characterized by severe disturbances in eating behavior that significantly impact an individual’s emotional, psychosocial and physical well-being. The literature suggests that maternal eating disorders negatively influence child growth, feeding behaviors, cognitive and psychological development, while less is known on childhood respiratory outcomes. This study will add to the existing knowledge on the associations between maternal eating disorders and childhood outcomes and increase the knowledge on the effect of eating disorders independent of other mental health comorbidities, including depression and anxiety. We aim to move forward and explore the potential mediating pathways, focusing in particular on some modifiable factors during early childhood, including breastfeeding and daycare attendance.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 10 March, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 15 March, 2021
Epidemiology, Respiratory - asthma, Asthma, Wheezing, Eating disorders, Mental health