Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Does childhood trauma influence offspring’s birth characteristics?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Epidemiology, ISSN 0300-5771, E-ISSN 1464-3685Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract

Background: A recent epigenetic hypothesis postulates that ‘a sex-specific male-line transgenerational effect exists in humans’, which can be triggered by childhood trauma during ‘the slow growth period’ just before puberty. The evidence is based on a few rather small epidemiological studies. We examine what response childhood trauma predicts, if any, in the birth size and prematurity risk of almost 800 000 offspring. Methods: Children of parity 1, 2 or 3, born 1976-2002 in Sweden, for whom we could trace both parents and all four grandparents, constituted generation 3 (G3, n ¼ 764 569). Around 5% of their parents, G2, suffered parental (G1) death during their own childhood. The association of such trauma in G2 with G3 prematurity and birthweight was analysed, while controlling for confounders in G1 and G2. We examined whether the slow growth period was extra sensitive to parental loss. Results: Parental (G1) death during (G2) childhood predicts premature birth and lower birthweight in the offspring generation (G3). This response is dependent on G2 gender, G2 age at exposure and G3 parity, but not G3 gender. Conclusions: The results are compatible with the Pembrey-Bygren hypothesis that trauma exposure during boys’ slow growth period may trigger a transgenerational response; age at trauma exposure among girls seems less important, suggesting a different set of pathways for any transgenerational response. Finally, parental death during childhood was not important for the reproduction of social inequalities in birthweight and premature birth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132633DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyw048OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-132633DiVA: diva2:953337
Available from: 2016-08-17 Created: 2016-08-17 Last updated: 2016-09-22

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Vågerö, DennyRajaleid, Kristiina
By organisation
Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS)Stress Research Institute
In the same journal
International Journal of Epidemiology
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 122 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link