A Canadian study has found that low birth-weight babies are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety later in life.
The lead author of the study Ian Colman of the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health in Edmonton and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge and University College London analyzed data from the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development which tracked some 4,600 people born in Britain in 1946 for anxiety and depression over a 40-year period.
“Being born small isn’t necessarily a problem. It is a problem if you were born small because of adverse conditions in the womb — and low birth weight is what we looked at in this study because it is considered a marker of stress in the womb,” Colman said in a statement.
“When a mother is really stressed, blood flow to the uterus is restricted and the fetus gets fewer nutrients, which tends to lead to lower birth weight,” he added.