Browsing by Subject "infant"

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  • Hannula, Leena; Puukka, Pauli; Asunmaa, Marjut; Mäkijärvi, Markku (2020)
    Background Many infants under 4 months suffer from infantile colic. Infants with colic cry a lot, appear to be in pain, and it is difficult to sooth them. Colic is a painful condition for the infant and very stressful to parents. Parents in Finland get advice to try reflexology treatment for their infant, but there are no studies in Finland to support this advice. Aim The aim of the pilot study was to treat infants with reflexology and find out parents' experiences of the effects of the treatment on colic symptoms and parental stress. Method A total of 33 parents of 35 infants diagnosed with colic participated to the pilot study. Three certified reflexologists with health care education background and extensive experience in infant reflexology were trained to give the reflexology treatment in a standardised manner. They treated each infant 3-4 times. The whole body reflexology treatment session consisted of gentle pressure treatment of soles and feet, hands, head, face, ears, back, neck and whole stomach area. One treatment session lasted about 20-30 minutes, and treatments were delivered within 8-12 days. The data were collected from the parents with semi-structured questionnaires. Results The series of the treatments helped reduce the suffering of all the babies with infant colic. The colic symptoms disappeared on 43% of infants and decreased on the remaining 57%. The parents reported having pleasant experiences with the treatment, regardless whether the colic symptoms disappeared or continued. Parents stated that the treatment reduced the most typical colic symptoms; infants' body tension, colic crying and restless movements, poor sleep quality and irregular bowel movements. Conclusions Reflexology treatment seems to be a safe and effective way to treat infants with colic when conducted by a health care professional with reflexology training and experience.
  • Kolho, Kaija-Leena; Alfthan, Henrik (2020)
    Objectives Fecal calprotectin is a valued surrogate marker for intestinal inflammation. It has been argued that calprotectin levels are higher in early age than in later life hampering the use of calprotectin in young children. Subjects and methods To study age-related variation, we used data from our laboratory information system on consecutive, unselected fecal calprotectin measurements from 2014 to 2017 in all children aged 0 to 18 years. From each individual, the first measurement was included and repeated measurements were excluded. Fecal calprotectin was quantitated in the major clinical laboratory in southern Finland, HUSLAB with an ELISA kit from Calpro AS (Calpro/Calprolab, Oslo, Norway). Currently, the assay is performed on two automatic pipetting analysers (Dynex DS2, Chantilly, USA) according to the instructions of the manufacturer. Results There were altogether 11,255 fecal calprotectin results from as many children. The median level of fecal calprotectin was 51 mg/kg in infants <1 year of age (95(th)percentile 648 mg/kg;n = 239). This was 3-4-fold higher when compared to yearly age groups from 1 to 10 years (total number of children included 5,691). Across yearly age groups from 11 to 18, the median values varied from 11 to 19 mg/kg (total number of included children 5,325). The proportion of samples above the routine cut-off for an elevated concentration >100 mg/kg increased with increasing age. Conclusions Fecal calprotectin values in children beyond the first year of life are in general low and comparable in children and adolescents.
  • Tokariev, Anton; Oberlander, Victoria C.; Videman, Mari; Vanhatalo, Sampsa (2022)
    Up to five percent of human infants are exposed to maternal antidepressant medication by serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRI) during pregnancy, yet the SRI effects on infants' early neurodevelopment are not fully understood. Here, we studied how maternal SRI medication affects cortical frequency-specific and cross-frequency interactions estimated, respectively, by phase-phase correlations (PPC) and phase-amplitude coupling (PAC) in electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings. We examined the cortical activity in infants after fetal exposure to SRIs relative to a control group of infants without medical history of any kind. Our findings show that the sleep-related dynamics of PPC networks are selectively affected by in utero SRI exposure, however, those alterations do not correlate to later neurocognitive development as tested by neuropsychological evaluation at two years of age. In turn, phase-amplitude coupling was found to be suppressed in SRI infants across multiple distributed cortical regions and these effects were linked to their neurocognitive outcomes. Our results are compatible with the overall notion that in utero drug exposures may cause subtle, yet measurable changes in the brain structure and function. Our present findings are based on the measures of local and inter-areal neuronal interactions in the cortex which can be readily used across species, as well as between different scales of inspection: from the whole animals to in vitro preparations. Therefore, this work opens a framework to explore the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental SRI effects at all translational levels.
  • ALBINO Study Group; Maiwald, C.A.; Annink, K.V.; Rüdiger, M.; Benders, M.J.N.L.; Van Bel, F.; Allegaert, K.; Naulaers, G.; Bassler, D.; Klebermaß-Schrehof, K.; Vento, M.; Guimarães, H.; Stiris, T.; Cattarossi, L.; Metsäranta, M.; Vanhatalo, S.; Mazela, J.; Metsvaht, T.; Jacobs, Y. (2019)
    Background: Perinatal asphyxia and resulting hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is a major cause of death and long-term disability in term born neonates. Up to 20,000 infants each year are affected by HIE in Europe and even more in regions with lower level of perinatal care. The only established therapy to improve outcome in these infants is therapeutic hypothermia. Allopurinol is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor that reduces the production of oxygen radicals as superoxide, which contributes to secondary energy failure and apoptosis in neurons and glial cells after reperfusion of hypoxic brain tissue and may further improve outcome if administered in addition to therapeutic hypothermia. Methods: This study on the effects of ALlopurinol in addition to hypothermia treatment for hypoxic-ischemic Brain Injury on Neurocognitive Outcome (ALBINO), is a European double-blinded randomized placebo-controlled parallel group multicenter trial (Phase III) to evaluate the effect of postnatal allopurinol administered in addition to standard of care (including therapeutic hypothermia if indicated) on the incidence of death and severe neurodevelopmental impairment at 24 months of age in newborns with perinatal hypoxic-ischemic insult and signs of potentially evolving encephalopathy. Allopurinol or placebo will be given in addition to therapeutic hypothermia (where indicated) to infants with a gestational age ≥ 36 weeks and a birth weight ≥ 2500 g, with severe perinatal asphyxia and potentially evolving encephalopathy. The primary endpoint of this study will be death or severe neurodevelopmental impairment versus survival without severe neurodevelopmental impairment at the age of two years. Effects on brain injury by magnetic resonance imaging and cerebral ultrasound, electric brain activity, concentrations of peroxidation products and S100B, will also be studied along with effects on heart function and pharmacokinetics of allopurinol after iv-infusion. Discussion: This trial will provide data to assess the efficacy and safety of early postnatal allopurinol in term infants with evolving hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. If proven efficacious and safe, allopurinol could become part of a neuroprotective pharmacological treatment strategy in addition to therapeutic hypothermia in children with perinatal asphyxia. Trial registration: NCT03162653,, May 22, 2017. © 2019 The Author(s).
  • Hokkanen, Marie-Estelle (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Objectives: Early recognition of developmental challenges in infancy is central for being able to start interventions earlier with possible better outcomes. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of using eye-tracking at seven months to predict adaptive behavior outcomes at two years. Adaptive behavior implies the child's adaptation to their specific living environment and it includes aspects of conceptual, social and practical adaptation. Here, I studied several eye-tracking based markers of visual attention in infancy for their possible association with adaptive behavior at two years, such as saccadic reaction time (SRT) and measures of attentional preference for faces and emotional facial expressions. SRT has been shown to be a general attentional marker in infancy associated with many developmental and clinical aspects while attentional preference for faces and emotional facial expressions are pronounced at seven months and have been hypothesized to play a role in socio-emotional development. Infants were also studied with respect to attentional behavioral tendencies based on their SRT measures. Methods: This study employed material from the Toibilas-study at BABA center at Helsinki University Hospital. The study consisted of 45 children of either typical development (n=26) or children of high developmental risk (n=19) due to their prior treatment at the neonatal intensive care unit. The high-risk group was assumed to increase variability of the sample. Infants participated in eye-tracking measurements at seven months old using two different eye-tracking paradigms; a SRT task and a task measuring attentional bias for facial vs. non-facial as well as emotional facial expressions vs. neutral facial expressions. The same children were assessed for adaptive behavior at two years of age by a parent filled-questionnaire. Associations between attentional behavioral markers at seven months and adaptive behavior at two years were analyzed using linear models. The models also accounted for behavioral attentional tendency as identified from a set of SRT measures. Results and conclusions: A bigger attentional preference for faces compared to non-faces was associated with better overall adaptive behavior score as well as adaptive behavior composites for conceptual and practical adaptive behavior. This is in line with the hypothesis that attentional bias for faces is important for socio-emotional development. A significant association between identified behavioral attentional tendencies and the conceptual composite score of adaptive behavior was found. This finding suggests that recognizing attentional tendency may be useful for predicting later developmental trajectories. The present work provides preliminary evidence for the proof of principle that eye-tracking based metrics may provide clinically relevant predictions in infants, however novel prospective datasets are needed for clinical validation.
  • Reichhardt, Martin Parnov; Messing, Marcel; Andersson, Sture; Kolho, Kaija-Leena; Meri, Seppo (2021)
    The first months of life represent a crucial time period for an infant. Alongside establishing the early microbiome, the mucosal immunological homeostasis is being developed. Both processes may be perturbed in prematurely born infants. The glycoprotein SALSA plays a role in mucosal inflammation and microbial clearance. It is one of the most abundant molecules on the intestinal mucosal surfaces in early life. SALSA binds to many types of microbes and host defence molecules like IgA, C1q and collectin molecules. We here describe the development in faecal SALSA levels during the first three months of life. During these 90 days, the median SALSA level in full-term babies decreased from 1100 mu g/mL (range 49-17 000 mu g/mL) to 450 mu g/mL (range 33-1000 mu g/mL). Lower levels of SALSA were observed in prematurely born infants in the same time period. Our novel observation thus indicates an impact of prematurity on an important component of the infant intestinal immune system. Changes in SALSA in early life may have an effect on the early establishment of the human microbiome.
  • Thorlacius, Elin M.; Wåhlander, Håkan; Ojala, Tiina; Ylänen, Kaisa; Keski-Nisula, Juho; Synnergren, Mats; Romlin, Birgitta S.; Ricksten, Sven-Erik; Castellheim, Albert (2020)
    Objective : We aimed to determine the differential effects of intra-operative administration of milrinone versus levosimendan on myocardial function after pediatric cardiac surgery. Transthoracic echocardiography was employed for myocardial function evaluation, utilizing biventricular longitudinal strain with two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography in addition to conventional echocardiographic variables. Design : A secondary analysis of a randomized, prospective, double-blinded clinical drug trial Setting : Two pediatric tertiary university hospitals Participants : Infants between 1-12 months of age diagnosed with ventricular septal defect, complete atrioventricular septal defect, or tetralogy of Fallot who were scheduled for corrective surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass. Interventions : The patients were randomized to receive an infusion of milrinone or levosimendan at the start of cardiopulmonary bypass and for 26 consecutive hours. Measurements and main results : Biventricular longitudinal strain and conventional echocardiographic variables were measured preoperatively, on the first postoperative morning and prior to hospital discharge. The association between perioperative parameters and postoperative myocardial function was also investigated. Images were analyzed for left ventricular (n=67) and right ventricular (n=44) function. The day after surgery, left ventricular longitudinal strain was deteriorated in both the milrinone and levosimendan groups; 33% and 39%, respectively. The difference was not significant. The corresponding deterioration in right ventricular longitudinal strain was 42% and 50% (non-significant difference). For both groups, biventricular longitudinal strain approached their preoperative values at hospital discharge. Preoperative N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide could predict the left ventricular strain on postoperative day one (p=0.014). Conclusions : Levosimendan was comparable to milrinone for left and right ventricular inotropic support in pediatric cardiac surgery.
  • Kaskinen, Anu K.; Keski-Nisula, Juho; Martelius, Laura; Moilanen, Eeva; Hämäläinen, Mari; Rautiainen, Paula; Andersson, Sture; Pitkänen-Argillander, Olli M. (2021)
    Objectives: The present study was performed to determine whether lung injury manifests as lung edema in neonates after congenital cardiac surgery and whether a stress-dose corticosteroid (SDC) regimen attenuates postoperative lung injury in neonates after congenital cardiac surgery. Design: A supplementary report of a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Setting: A pediatric tertiary university hospital. Participants: Forty neonates (age Measurements and Main Results: The chest radiography lung edema score was lower in the SDC than in the placebo group on the first postoperative day (POD one) (p = 0.03) and on PODs two and three (p = 0.03). Furthermore, a modest increase in the edema score of 0.9 was noted in the placebo group, whereas the edema score remained at the preoperative level in the SDC group. Postoperative dynamic respiratory system compliance was higher in the SDC group until POD three (p < 0.01). However, postoperative oxygenation; length of mechanical ventilation; and tracheal aspirate biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress, namely interleukin-6, interleukin-8, resistin, and 8-isoprostane, showed no differences between the groups. Conclusions: The SDC regimen reduced the development of mild and likely clinically insignificant radiographic lung edema and improved postoperative dynamic respiratory system compliance without adverse events, but it failed to improve postoperative oxygenation and length of mechanical ventilation. (C) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.
  • Acosta Leinonen, Johanna Natalia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Sleep is one of the most vital functions of newborns and infants, and it is essential for neuronal network development. Therefore, long-term sleep disturbances have been associated with growth delays and behavioral disorders. Commonly reported infant sleep disturbances, such as night awakenings and difficulties falling asleep, cause distress to parents. Yet, the development of infant sleep in the home environment has not been fully elucidated due to lack of objective measurement parameters. In the current study, we assessed the feasibility of a motion sensor, attached to wearable pants, and ECG textile electrodes to monitor sleep-related respiration and heart rate of newborns and infants. First, we compared signals recorded by the motion sensor’s measurement channels to the standard respiratory piezo effort belt’s signal during daytime EEG recordings. According to our results, the motion sensor’s gyroscope proved to measure respiratory rate most accurately, while the ECG signal transmitted by the sensor was reliable in interpretable sections. We then provided wearable garments and smartphones to families with infants to assess overnight home-use. Our results indicate that different sleep states could likely be identified based on respiration fluctuation visible in the gyroscope’s signals. Moreover, the wearable system was considered practical and easy to use by the parents. Future studies should focus on validating the sensor with clinically approved measures, in order to train the algorithms to automatically identify different sleep-wake states. By doing so, the wearable sensor could provide information on natural infant sleep structure development over long time periods. Additionally, clinical validation of the sensor may result in the development of a companion diagnostic tool for infant cardiorespiratory and movement disorders.
  • Svedenkrans, Jenny; Ekblom, Örjan; Domellöf, Magnus; Fellman, Vineta; Norman, Mikael; Bohlin, Kajsa (2020)
    Physical activity (PA) can prevent cardiovascular diseases. Because of increased risks of impairments affecting motor activity, PA in children born preterm may differ from that in children born at term. In this prospective cohort study, we compared objectively measured PA in 71 children born extremely preterm (
  • Huotilainen, Minna; Tervaniemi, Mari (2018)
    Music-based amelioration and training of the developing auditory system has a long tradition, and recent neuroscientific evidence supports using music in this manner. Here, we present the available evidence showing that various music-related activities result in positive changes in brain structure and function, becoming helpful for auditory cognitive processes in everyday life situations for individuals with typical neural development and especially for individuals with hearing, learning, attention, or other deficits that may compromise auditory processing. We also compare different types of music-based training and show how their effects have been investigated with neural methods. Finally, we take a critical position on the multitude of error sources found in amelioration and training studies and on publication bias in the field. We discuss some future improvements of these issues in the field of music-based training and their potential results at the neural and behavioral levels in infants and children for the advancement of the field and for a more complete understanding of the possibilities and significance of the training.
  • Viitaharju, Janika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    OBJECTIVES. The association between prenatal maternal stress and adverse health and developmental offspring outcomes has been long known but explanations for this association remain insufficient. One of the most recent suggestions is gut microbiota. Only a few studies with many limitations have concentrated on the association between prenatal stress and offspring gut microbiota. The aim of this study is to conduct a large scale study with follow-up covering the whole infancy, and to test whether the association differs between girls and boys. METHODS. This study’s sample consists of 825 mothers and their infants from HELMi cohort. Prenatal maternal stress is measured with self-report questionnaire, and infant gut microbiota from fecal samples. 16S rRNA sequencing is used in analyzing the microbiota. RESULTS. High stress group had lower alpha-diversity than low stress group at 3 weeks. No differences were found in richness and beta-diversity. Several phylum, family, and genus level bacteria were associated with prenatal stress. Regarding sex differences, no differences were found in richness or in alpha- or beta-diversity. However, in phylum, family, and genus level bacterial relative abundances, more associations were found in boys than in girls. CONCLUSION. Overall the findings in this study were contradicting compared to previous findings. There was indication that there is no clear association between prenatal stress and infant overall microbiota composition. Also, the association regarding bacterial abundances could decline over age, and the association might be stronger in boys. However, not very consistent conclusions can be made based on research conducted so far.
  • Tuokkola, J; Heikkila, A; Junttila, K; Orell, H (2021)
    Background Malnutrition is related to an increased rate of complications and prolonged hospital stays. Malnutrition risk screening is recommended for all hospital inpatients, but its applicability as part of routine care is not well known. Methods The prevalence of malnutrition risk, measured by the Screening Tool for Risk of Impaired Nutritional Status and Growth (STRONGkids), and acute malnutrition were studied 1 day per year in all pediatric inpatient and day wards in 2015 and 2016 and in inpatients and outpatients in 2017 at a university hospital. Nurses carried out the STRONGkids screening and measured the weight and height of each child, recording the information in the hospital database, where it was subsequently extracted along with data on the child's diagnoses, procedures, and the length and costs of hospital stay. Results In all, 696/1217 patients (57.2%) were screened. Of inpatients and outpatients, 37/398 (9.3%) and 3/298 (1.0%), respectively, were classified as being at high risk of malnutrition. The corresponding figures for those who were acutely malnourished were 18/260 (6.9%) and 11/264 (4.2%). High risk of malnutrition increased the costs and length of hospital stay (P < .05). Dietetic input was involved during hospital stay in 12/37 (32.4%), 32/173 (18.5%), and 13/188 (6.9%) of inpatients at high, moderate, and low risk, respectively (P < .001). Nutrition risk screening did not detect all patients classified as acutely malnourished. Conclusion Hospitals need to ensure proper application of nutrition screening, develop a protocol for the care of children at nutrition risk, and monitor the use of this protocol.
  • Keski-Nisula, Juho; Arvola, Oiva; Jahnukainen, Timo; Andersson, Sture; Pesonen, Eero (2020)
    Objective Corticosteroids attenuate inflammatory reaction in pediatric heart surgery. Inflammation is a source of free oxygen radicals. Children with a cyanotic heart defect are prone to increased radical stress during heart surgery. We hypothesized that high-dose methylprednisolone reduces inflammatory reaction and thereby also oxidative stress in infants with a univentricular heart defect undergoing bidirectional Glenn procedure. Design A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial. Setting Operation theatre and pediatric intensive care unit of a university hospital. Participants Twenty-nine infants undergoing bidirectional Glenn procedure with or without aortic arch or pulmonary arterial repair. Interventions After anesthesia induction, the patients received intravenously either 30 mg/kg of methylprednisolone (n=15) or the same volume of saline as placebo (n=14). Measurements and Main Results Plasma interleukin-6, interleukin-8 and interleukin-10 (biomarkers of inflammation) as well as 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine concentrations (a biomarker of oxidative stress) were measured at four different time points: preoperatively, during CPB, after protamine administration, and six hours postoperatively. The study parameters did not differ between the study groups preoperatively. Methylprednisolone reduced the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 and increased the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 postoperatively. Despite reduced inflammation, there were no differences in 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine between the methylprednisolone and placebo groups. Conclusions Pro-inflammatory reaction and increase in free radical stress were not interrelated during congenital heart surgery in cyanotic infants with a univentricular heart defect undergoing bidirectional Glenn procedure. High-dose methylprednisolone was ineffective in attenuating free radical stress.
  • Jahnukainen, Timo; Rautiainen, Paula; Tainio, Juuso; Pätilä, Tommi; Salminen, Jukka; Keski-Nisula, Juho (2021)
    Background: Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) may lead to tissue hypoxia, inflammatory response, and risk for acute kidney injury (AKI). We evaluated the prevalence of AKI and inflammatory response in neonates undergoing heart surgery requiring CPB with or without antegrade cerebral perfusion (ACP). Methods: Forty neonates were enrolled. The patients were divided into two groups depending on the use of ACP. AKI was classified based on the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) criteria. Inflammatory response was measured using plasma concentrations of interleukins 6 (IL-6) and 10 (IL-10), white blood cell count (WBC), and C-reactive protein (CRP). Results: Eight patients (20%) experienced AKI: five (29%) in the ACP group and three (13%) in the non-ACP group (P = 0.25). Postoperative peak plasma creatinine and urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin were significantly higher in the ACP group than in the non-ACP group [46.0 (35.0-60.5) vs 37.5 (33.0-42.5), P = 0.044 and 118.0 (55.4-223.7) vs 29.8 (8.1-109.2), P = 0.02, respectively]. Four patients in the ACP group and one in the non-ACP group required peritoneal dialysis (P = 0.003). Postoperative plasma IL-6, IL-10, and CRP increased significantly in both groups. There were no significant differences between the ACP and non-ACP groups in any of the inflammatory parameters measured. Conclusions: No significant difference in the AKI occurrence or inflammatory response related to CPB modality could be found. In our study population, inflammation was not the key factor leading to AKI. Due to the limited number of patients, these findings should be interpreted with caution.
  • Koivisto, Karoliina; Nieminen, Tea; Mejias, Asuncion; Capella Gonzalez, Cristina; Ye, Fang; Mertz, Sara; Peeples, Mark; Ramilo, Octavio; Saxen, Harri (2022)
    Background The fusion (F) glycoprotein of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) represents the major neutralizing antigen, and antibodies against the pre-F conformation have the most potent neutralizing activity. This study aimed to assess the correlation between maternal antibody titers against the pre-F, post-F, and G glycoproteins and the child's risk of developing severe RSV bronchiolitis early in infancy. Methods We identified previously healthy term infants Maternal serum immunoglobulin antibody titers directed to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) pre-F glycoprotein were lower in infants less than 3 months of age hospitalized with RSV bronchiolitis than in maternal serum samples of age-matched control infants who were not hospitalized.
  • Halonen, Anniina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Background and aim Complementary feeding is defined as the period during which there is a progressive reduction of breastfeeding or formula while the infant is gradually introduced to solid foods at 4-6 months of age. Improper complementary feeding practices, such as introducing solid foods beyond 6 months of age or having a low dietary diversity could lead to negative infant health outcomes. Therefore, it is important to identify factors that might detrimentally affect complementary feeding, such as maternal stress. This thesis aimed to study the associations between maternal stress indicators, the age of solid food introduction, and dietary diversity during complementary feeding within a Finnish birth cohort. Methods The Health and Early Life Microbiota (HELMi) is a longitudinal birth cohort study. Participants of the HELMi cohort included 1055 healthy infants and their parents, mainly residing in the capital region of Finland. Pre-collected data from the HELMi study were used. The data collection occurred between 2016-2018. The main variables used in this thesis were collected via extensive online questionnaires. Binomial logistic regression analyses were used to study whether prenatal and postpartum stress indicators were associated with the age of solid food introduction and/or the infant’s dietary diversity during complementary feeding. Results Late introduction of solid foods (> 6 months) was less likely among infants whose mothers reported moderate or high prenatal stress (moderate prenatal stress OR=0.66, 95%CI 0.45-0.97, high prenatal stress OR 0.62, 95%CI 0.39-0.98), when compared to infants whose mothers reported low prenatal stress. Maternal stress indicators were not associated with low dietary diversity (0-3 food groups introduced) at 6 months of life. Among infants with a low dietary diversity at 9 months of age, mothers were more likely to report high levels of prenatal stress (OR=4.88, 95%CI 1.27-18.79), when compared to mothers with low levels of prenatal stress. Further, infants with a low dietary diversity at 9 months were less likely to have mothers report low to moderate levels of life satisfaction (OR=0.25, 95%CI 0.06-1.02) when compared to mothers with very high life satisfaction. They were also less likely to report moderate levels of infant health worry (OR=0.18, 95%CI 0.05-0.67) when compared to mothers with no infant health worry. Conclusions This is the first study to look at the associations between maternal stress indicators and dietary outcomes during complementary feeding. Maternal stress indicators were associated with the age of solid food introduction and the infant’s dietary diversity at 9 months, but not at 6 months. In future studies on this topic, a more socio-demographically representative sample should be recruited, and validated tools should be used to collect dietary and psychological data. Health practitioners and family clinic workers should be made aware of the possibly long-lasting effects of prenatal stress and consider its possible effects on dietary outcomes during complementary feeding.
  • Hauta-Alus, Helena H.; Holmlund-Suila, Elisa M.; Kajantie, Eero; Rosendahl, Jenni; Valkama, Saara M.; Enlund-Cerullo, Maria; Andersson, Sture; Mäkitie, Outi (2021)
    Context: The relationship between maternal and infant vitamin D and early childhood growth remains inadequately understood. Objective: This work aimed to investigate how maternal and child 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) and vitamin D supplementation affect growth during the first 2 years of life. Methods: A randomized, double-blinded, single-center intervention study was conducted from pregnancy until offspring age 2 years. Altogether 812 term-born children with complete data were recruited at a maternity hospital. Children received daily vitamin D-3 supplementation of 10 mu g (group 10) or 30 mu g (group 30) from age 2 weeks to 2 years. Anthropometry and growth rate were measured at age 1 and 2 years. Results: Toddlers born to mothers with pregnancy 25(OH)D greater than 125 nmol/L were at 2 years lighter and thinner than the reference group with 25(OH)D of 50 to 74.9 nmol/L (P < .010). Mean 2-year 25(OH)D concentrations were 87 nmol/L in group 10 and 118 nmol/L in group 30 (P < .001). When group 30 was compared with group 10, difference in body size was not statistically significant (P > .053), but group 30 had slower growth in length and head circumference between 6 months and 1 year (P < .047), and more rapid growth in weight and length-adjusted weight between 1 and 2 years (P < .043). Toddlers in the highest quartile of 25(OH)D (> 121 nmol/L) were shorter (mean difference 0.2 SD score [SDS], P = .021), lighter (mean difference 0.4 SDS, P = .001), and thinner (in length-adjusted weight) (mean difference 0.4 SDS, P = .003) compared with the lowest quartile (< 81.2 nmol/L). Conclusion: Vitamin D and early childhood growth may have an inverse U-shaped relationship.
  • Kohva, Ella; Huopio, Hanna; Hietamäki, Johanna; Hero, Matti; Miettinen, Päivi J.; Raivio, Taneli (2019)
    What is the peripubertal outcome of recombinant human FSH (r-hFSH) treatment during minipuberty in boys with congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (CHH)?Sertoli-cell response to r-hFSH, given during the minipuberty of infancy, appears insufficient to maintain Sertoli cell function throughout childhood, as evaluated by inhibin B measurements.Severe CHH in boys can be diagnosed during the minipuberty of infancy. Combined gonadotropin treatment at that age is suggested to improve testicular endocrine function and future fertility, yet long-term evidence is lacking.In this retrospective cohort study, we describe five CHH boys treated with r-hFSH in Helsinki University Hospital or Kuopio University Hospital between 2004 and 2018. Immediate follow-up data (0.1–1.4 months after cessation of the gonadotropin therapy) was available for four boys and long-term observations (at the age of 10.0–12.8 years) was available for three boys. As a retrospective control cohort, we provide inhibin B values of eight untreated CHH boys at the age of 12.7–17.8 years.Four patients had combined pituitary hormone deficiency, and one had CHARGE syndrome due to a CHD7 mutation. The patients were treated at the age of 0.7–4.2 months with r-hFSH (3.4 IU/kg–7.5 IU/kg per week in 2 or 3 s.c. doses for 3–4.5 months) combined with T (25 mg i.m. monthly for three months for the treatment of micropenis). Inhibin B was chosen as the primary outcome measure.During the r-hFSH + T treatment, inhibin B increased from 76 ± 18 ng/l to 176 ± 80 ng/l (P = 0.04) and penile length increased by 81 ± 50% (P = 0.04). Unexpectedly, two boys with robust inhibin B responses in infancy demonstrated low inhibin B values in peripuberty: declining from 290 ng/l (4 months) to 16 ng/l (12.4 years), and from 207 ng/l (6 months) to 21 ng/l (12.8 years). All boys underwent orchiopexy at 2.0 ± 0.7 years of age. Inhibin B values in long-term follow-up, available for the three boys, did not significantly differ from the untreated CHH controls.Limitations of this retrospective study are the small number and heterogeneity of the patients and their treatment schemes.We describe the first long-term follow-up data on CHH boys treated with r-hFSH and T as infants. The results from this small patient series suggest that the effects of infant r-hFSH treatment may be transient, and further longitudinal studies are required to determine the efficacy of this treatment approach to optimise the fertility potential in this patient population.This work was supported by the Finnish foundation for Pediatric Research, the Academy of Finland and the Emil Aaltonen Foundation. The authors have no competing interests.Non-applicable.