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Short kids come from depressed moms, says study

Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health found in a study that mothers who suffered postpartum depression were 50 percent more likely to have kids who were in the shortest 10 percent of their age group.

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A new study shows a link between short children and depression in the mother. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Mothers with depression post-childbirth are more likely to end up with short children says a new study.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health found in a study that mothers who suffered postpartum depression were 50 percent more likely to have kids who were in the shortest 10 percent of their age group.

The study looked at 6000 mothers and newborn babies and tracked their health, said ABC News.

As the children aged, the researchers measured their height and assessed the mothers' mental health.

Researchers then measured the children at 5 years-old to make their conclusions.

The mental health assessments ended at nine months.

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“We think that mothers who are depressed or blue might have a hard time following through with caregiving tasks,” said study author Pamela J. Surkan, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins, reported HealthDay.

“We know that children of depressed mothers often suffer from poor attachment and the depression seems to have effects on other developmental outcomes. It makes sense that mothers who have depressive symptoms might have reduced ability to take care of infants, that they might not always pick up cues from their kids.”

That said, the research doesn't prove definitively that the child's height and the mothers' depression are are directly linked - only that they're corelated.

Indeed, being in the 10th percentile of shortness may simply be due to having short parents.

Time reported that between 11 and 18 percent of new mothers have postpartum depression.

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120910/short-kids-come-depressed-moms-says-study