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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Events in pregnancy, delivery, and infancy and long-term effects on globalquality of life: results from the Copenhagen Perinatal Birth Cohort 1959-61.

Soren Ventegodt, Trine Flensborg-Madsen, Niels Andersen, Joav Merrick

Med Sci Monit 2005; 11(8): CR357-365

ID: 201203

Available online: 2005-08-01

Published: 2005-08-01

Background: To study causal associations between factors occurring duringpregnancy, birth, and infancy and global quality of life (QOL) in adulthood 31-33 years later. Material/Methods:Prospective study from the Copenhagen Perinatal Birth Cohort 1959-61. Two sets of questionnaires, onefilled out by physicians during pregnancy, birth, and infancy and a validated, self-administered questionnaireon global quality of life (QOL) filled out by the person 31-33 years later (7,222 people). Results: Onlya few of the factors examined showed association with later QOL. Regarding the mothers, associationswere found between global QOL and mothers with congenital malformations (8.8%) or syphilis (8.5%), failingcontraception (3.8%), and low social group (6.9%). Two main factors in pregnancy associated with reducedQOL for the child 31-33 years later: the mother's smoking habits (2.7%) and her medication, especiallypainkillers (15.3%) and different psychotropic drugs, with the association most prevalent early in pregnancy.Most of the associations found involved factors during the child's first year, including the mother'sattitude towards her pregnancy (3.4%), unsuccessful abortions (2.2%), institutionalization (7.4%), meningitis(11.7%), and psychomotor development (14.2%). Conclusions: The results appear to disagree with previousreports that factors occurring during pregnancy, birth, and infancy are highly important for the laterquality of life of the adult child. In accordance with other studies, this suggests that the aspectsimportant for quality of life are influenced only to a minor degree by earlier conditions, but the majoraspects are dependent on later attitudes towards life and philosophy of life.

Keywords: Adult, Cohort Studies, Delivery, Obstetric, Denmark, Follow-Up Studies, Infant, Newborn, Mothers, Pregnancy - physiology, Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects, Quality of Life, Questionnaires, Time Factors