Does anxiety and depression during pregnancy influence the relationship between neighbourhood socioeconomic status and preterm birth?

Grant

Primary Investigator: Kamala Adhikari Dahal, University of Calgary

Overview: Multiple studies have demonstrated an association between neighbourhood socioeconomic status (SES) and preterm birth (PTB), whereby pregnant women living in low SES neighbourhoods tend to have higher rates of PTB. Anxiety and depression, the most common forms of psychosocial distress during pregnancy, are more prevalent in low SES neighbourhoods, and are independent risk factors for PTB. Furthermore, anxiety and depression often co-occur, yet their joint association with PTB has not been explored. On this basis, we hypothesize that anxiety and/or depression in pregnant women may modify the association between neighbourhood SES and PTB. This research aims to determine whether anxiety and/or depression during pregnancy modifies the association between neighbourhood SES and PTB. This study will combine data from two community-based prospective pregnancy cohort studies – All Our Babies (n=3,388) and Alberta Pregnancy Outcome and Nutrition (n=2,200). Both studies contain detailed data on participant demographics, SES, medical and obstetric history, lifestyle, health behaviors, and mental health.

Dissemination area-level socioeconomic data (i.e., material deprivation index) based on 2011 Statistics Canada census will be obtained from the Statistics Canada website. We will use a multilevel logistic regression model to examine whether anxiety and/or depression during pregnancy modifies the relationship between neighbourhood SES and PTB. The findings from this study will add insights into the etiology of preterm birth by uniquely clarifying the risk of preterm birth associated with neighbourhood SES, and its link with anxiety and depression during pregnancy. This will inform public health interventions that aim to reduce the incidence of preterm birth.