Addictions May Predispose To Excessive Gestational Weight Gain

Michele D. Levine Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic Department of Statistics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PAMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Michele D. Levine Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
Department of Statistics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Levine: Many women quit smoking as a result of pregnancy.  However, psychiatric disorders, which are prevalent among smokers can contribute to weight gain.  Thus, we sought to examine the relationship between maternal psychiatric disorders and gestational weight gain in a sample of pregnant former smokers. Results from the present study demonstrate that the rates of psychiatric disorders were high among pregnant former smokers and that more than half of women gained more weight than recommended by the IOM.  Although a history of having had any psychiatric disorder was not associated with gestational weight gain, a history of alcohol use disorder specifically was positively related to gestational weight gain.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Levine: The high rates of lifetime psychiatric disorders and excessive gestational weight gain suggest that young, pregnant former smokers may be a vulnerable population in need of specialized or targeted interventions to sustain positive health related behavior changes.   In addition, the link between increased gestational weight gain and a history of alcohol use disorder suggests that women with a vulnerability to addiction may be at particular risk of gaining more weight in pregnancy. Although this finding warrants further study, such women may benefit from treatment efforts that focus on improving self-regulation.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Levine: Characterizing women who may be at risk of excessive gestational weight gain has important public health implications, and findings from the present study provide initial evidence documenting high rates of psychiatric disorder and excess gestational weight gain among pregnant former smokers. Thus, additional research is needed to better understand psychosocial factors that are predictive of positive health behaviors during pregnancy.

Citation:
Psychiatric Disorders and Gestational Weight Gain among Women Who Quit Smoking During Pregnancy
Levine, Michele D. et al.

Journal of Psychosomatic Research
Received: May 16, 2014; Received in revised form: November 10, 2014; Accepted: November 12, 2014; Published Online: November 15, 2014

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2014.11.013

 

 

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