Introduction Considerable concern persists on tobacco use during perinatal periods. No study has simultaneously investigated the longitudinal association of paternal smoking with maternal and paternal depressive and anxiety symptoms during perinatal periods. Methods In this prospective study, 533 couples (pregnant women and their husbands) completed 5 self-report instruments from early pregnancy until 6 months postpartum. Generalized estimating equations were used for the analyses. Results We found that fathers who smoked in the mother's presence had higher depressive (regression coefficient=1.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.3-1.8) and anxiety symptoms (3.0, 95% CI=1.2-4.7) during perinatal periods compared with nonsmoking fathers. Paternal smoking in the mother's presence also increased maternal disturbances, especially for depression during pregnancy (1.2, 95% CI=0.1-2.3) and anxiety during the postpartum period (3.4, 95% CI=0.6-6.3). No significant association was found between paternal smoking but not in the mother's presence and maternal emotional disturbances. Paternal smoking but not in the mother's presence affected only paternal anxiety, especially in the postpartum period (regression coefficient 2.7, 95% CI 0.7-4.7) compared with nonsmokers. Limitations Self-report measures were used. The effects of maternal smoking could not be estimated because of the small sample of pregnant women who disclosed their smoking status. Conclusions These findings imply a necessity to combine strategies for smoking cessation with interventions for affective disturbances in fathers. We also stress the importance of at least restricting the father's smoking in the presence of the pregnant wife during perinatal periods if smoking cessation is tentatively unattainable.
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