Developmental origins of mental health: human observational studies of preterm birth, antenatal synthetic glucocorticoid exposure, and maternal depressive symptoms during pregnancy

Elina Wolford

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


Mental disorders are a considerable factor in the global burden of disease, with population growth and aging increasing the prevalence of the disorders. While interventions and treatment to ameliorate the burden of mental disorders is important, another critical goal is to find possible risk factors for optimal mental health. According to the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease hypothesis, environmental factors during pregnancy and fetal life may have adverse programming effects on offspring mental health. However, observational human studies on the long term effects of an adverse fetal life are still needed. The aim of this work was to study the developmental origins of mental health focusing on three important risk factors: preterm birth (birth before 37 weeks of gestation), exposure to antenatal synthetic glucocorticoids (sGC), and maternal depressive symptoms during pregnancy. Specifically, to study the long term effects of preterm birth at very low birth weight (VLBW; birth weight
Original languageEnglish
  • Räikkönen, Katri, Supervisor
  • Lahti, Marius, Supervisor
Award date12 Dec 2018
Place of PublicationHelsinki
Print ISBNs978-951-51-4738-7
Electronic ISBNs978-951-51-4739-4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Bibliographical note

M1 - 103 s. + liitteet

Fields of Science

  • Cognition Disorders
  • Betamethasone
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
  • Pregnant Women
  • 515 Psychology

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