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News to Live By - Summer 2009

By Christine Grillo

Baby Blues

Giving birth to multiples increases the mother’s odds of having depressive symptoms by 43 percent nine months after birth, according to a study in Pediatrics. Yoonjoung Choi, DrPH, lead author and a research associate in International Health, also found that regardless of multiple-birth status, few mothers with symptoms of depression seek help from medical providers. In addition, a history of mental health problems was found to be a risk factor for maternal depression, and black mothers were more likely to be depressed than white mothers.


Diet and Neighborhood

Where you live plays a big role in dietary health, according to two studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Manuel Franco, MD, PhD, associate in Epidemiology and lead author of the studies, found that 46 percent of lower-income neighborhoods in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Md., had a poor availability of healthy foods, and that low availability is a risk factor for low-quality diet.


Grandparent Care

Grandparents provide safer childcare than organized daycare or care by the mother or other relatives, according to a study in Pediatrics. Lead author David Bishai, MD, PhD, MPH, associate professor in Population, Family and Reproductive Health, found that childcare provided by grandmothers is associated with a decreased risk of injury for the child, by roughly half, when compared to other caregivers. The study also indicates that the kids most protected are those whose parents stay married and live together throughout the child’s life.