Perinatal Stress, Diet and Risk of Wheezing/Asthma in Offspring of Mexican Women

Principal Investigators

Dates: 5/7/13 – 6/1/17

Co-Investigators:  Kamal Eldeirawi, Noel Chavez, Victoria Persky, Rosalind Wright, Eva Hernandez

Abstract:  In the proposed feasibility study, we will recruit 20 women of Mexican origin (10 US-born, 10 Mexicoborn) 18-40 years of age with no known pregnancy complications from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) Center for Women’s Health (CWH) at their first prenatal care visit (8-16 weeks gestation). At this time (T1), we will obtain data on maternal personal characteristics, psychosocial stress (self-report scales), diet (three 24-hour dietary recalls), home environment, acculturation, and other covariates. We will also collect  blood samples that will be stored for future assessment of serum levels of vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) and vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol). At T2 (26-32 weeks gestation), we will update information on stress, diet, and other covariates; and obtain additional blood samples (for future testing for vitamins D and E) and salivary samples (for future measurement of cortisol as a biomarker of stress). At T3 (2-4 weeks postpartum), we will collect information on maternal stress, birth outcomes (from medical records), infant feeding practices, and other variables; and obtain maternal hair samples that will be used to rebuild the calendar of the pregnancy and assess maternal cortisol levels (as a biomarker of stress) in each trimester.

The specific aims are to: 1) Determine the feasibility of (a) recruiting 20 pregnant women of Mexican descent at their first prenatal care visit and retaining them for the study period and (b) obtaining completed questionnaires, home environment assessments, and biological samples (Saliva and hair sample for cortisol, and blood samples for vitamins D and E), and 2) Determine the acceptability of the study procedures and data  collection approaches. This pilot study will be the essential first step for conducting a large and prospective cohort study (NIH R01) of the effects of perinatal stress and diet on the risk of asthma in children.

Internal Research Support Program (IRSP)