Smitha Chandrashekarappa, MBBS, MD


GHES LMIC Fellow 2019-2020

FELLOWSHIP SITE: Public Health Research Institute of India (PHRII)
U.S. INSTITUTION: Florida International University

Project Title: Early life influences on adolescent Mental Health: A life course study of the Kisalya Birth Cohort in South India

An estimated 16% of children born globally are low birth weight (LBW) resulting in poor adult health and social outcomes. This burden is particularly high in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) including India (prevalence of Low Birth Weight being around 20%), where there is added contribution of parental HIV status. Children born with LBW have higher rate of depression, lower cognition as adolescents and non-communicable diseases during adulthood

Since there are limited data examining life course determinants of adolescent mental health, the current project aims to specifically explore DOHaD (Developmental Origin of Health and Disease-Barkers Hypothesis) programming for mental health in Adolescents by examining,  if impaired prenatal growth (directly related to maternal factors in addition to maternal HIV), crudely indicated by birth weight is associated with higher rates of mental health disorder among adolescents in rural south India. The study will be conducted in the KISALAYA birth cohort which was constituted by 1640 mother-offspring dyads,  recruited in 2007-08, through maternal health program by PHRII, Mysuru, India