When University of Manitoba researchers pored over the medical records of 13,907 children born in Manitoba in 1995 and tracked until 2003, they found the duration of mental distress in the mother influenced the development of asthma in their kids.
Just under 19 per cent of the children surveyed were exposed to maternal distress during the first year of life. Of these kids, 8.3 per cent had developed asthma at seven years of age, compared with 6.3 per cent of kids whose mothers weren't stressed.
Long-term maternal distress, on the other hand, was associated with 1.6 times the increased risk of asthma at seven years.
Mental distress was assessed by the number of doctor's visits, hospitalizations and medications the mother took for mental issues such as anxiety and depression.
Researchers also found that kids with highly stressed mothers who lived in high-income homes or who had more than one sibling were at an even higher risk of becoming asthmatic than children in lower-income, one-sibling households.