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Maternal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) system activity and stress during pregnancy: Effects on gestational age and infant's anthropometric measures at birth.
Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2018 08; 94:152-161.P

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Prenatal maternal stress might be a risk for the developing fetus and may have long-lasting effects on child and adult vulnerability to somatic and psychiatric disease. Over-exposure of the unborn to excess glucocorticoids and subsequent alteration of fetal development is hypothesized to be one of the key mechanisms linking prenatal stress with negative child outcome.

METHODS

In this prospective longitudinal study, mothers-to-be (n = 405) in late pregnancy (36.8 ± 1.9 weeks of gestational age) and their singleton neonates were studied. We investigated the impact of different prenatal stress indices derived from six stress variables (perceived stress, specific prenatal worries, negative life events, symptoms of depression, trait anxiety, neuroticism) and diurnal maternal saliva cortisol secretion on gestational age and anthropometric measures at birth.

RESULTS

Maternal prenatal distress during late gestation was associated with significant reduction in birth weight (-217 g; p = .005), birth length (-1.2 cm; p = .005) and head circumference (-0.8 cm; p = .001). Prenatal stress was modestly but significantly associated with altered diurnal cortisol pattern (flattened cortisol decline and higher evening cortisol), which in turn was significantly related to reduced length of gestation. No evidence for a profound interaction between maternal cortisol level in late pregnancy and infant's anthropometric measures at birth (i.e., birth weight, length, head circumference) was found.

CONCLUSION

Prenatal stress is associated with flattened circadian saliva cortisol profiles and reduced infant's anthropometric measures at birth. HPA system activity during pregnancy may be related to low gestational age. The effect of prenatal stress might be partly mediated by maternal-placental-fetal neuroendocrine mechanisms especially the dysregulation of diurnal cortisol profile.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, RG Stress, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address: maria.gilles@zi-mannheim.de.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, RG Stress, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, RG Stress, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, RG Stress, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, RG Stress, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, RG Stress, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany.Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Medical Center Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany.Department of Genetic Epidemiology in Psychiatry, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany.Department of Genetic Epidemiology in Psychiatry, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany; Department of Psychology, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, RG Stress, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29783163

Citation

Gilles, Maria, et al. "Maternal Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) System Activity and Stress During Pregnancy: Effects On Gestational Age and Infant's Anthropometric Measures at Birth." Psychoneuroendocrinology, vol. 94, 2018, pp. 152-161.
Gilles M, Otto H, Wolf IAC, et al. Maternal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) system activity and stress during pregnancy: Effects on gestational age and infant's anthropometric measures at birth. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2018;94:152-161.
Gilles, M., Otto, H., Wolf, I. A. C., Scharnholz, B., Peus, V., Schredl, M., Sütterlin, M. W., Witt, S. H., Rietschel, M., Laucht, M., & Deuschle, M. (2018). Maternal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) system activity and stress during pregnancy: Effects on gestational age and infant's anthropometric measures at birth. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 94, 152-161. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.04.022
Gilles M, et al. Maternal Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) System Activity and Stress During Pregnancy: Effects On Gestational Age and Infant's Anthropometric Measures at Birth. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2018;94:152-161. PubMed PMID: 29783163.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Maternal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) system activity and stress during pregnancy: Effects on gestational age and infant's anthropometric measures at birth. AU - Gilles,Maria, AU - Otto,Henrike, AU - Wolf,Isabell A C, AU - Scharnholz,Barbara, AU - Peus,Verena, AU - Schredl,Michael, AU - Sütterlin,Marc W, AU - Witt,Stephanie H, AU - Rietschel,Marcella, AU - Laucht,Manfred, AU - Deuschle,Michael, Y1 - 2018/04/22/ PY - 2017/08/31/received PY - 2018/04/19/revised PY - 2018/04/20/accepted PY - 2018/5/22/pubmed PY - 2019/3/16/medline PY - 2018/5/22/entrez KW - Anthropometric measures at birth KW - Cortisol KW - Early life stress KW - Gestational age KW - Pregnancy KW - Prenatal distress SP - 152 EP - 161 JF - Psychoneuroendocrinology JO - Psychoneuroendocrinology VL - 94 N2 - BACKGROUND: Prenatal maternal stress might be a risk for the developing fetus and may have long-lasting effects on child and adult vulnerability to somatic and psychiatric disease. Over-exposure of the unborn to excess glucocorticoids and subsequent alteration of fetal development is hypothesized to be one of the key mechanisms linking prenatal stress with negative child outcome. METHODS: In this prospective longitudinal study, mothers-to-be (n = 405) in late pregnancy (36.8 ± 1.9 weeks of gestational age) and their singleton neonates were studied. We investigated the impact of different prenatal stress indices derived from six stress variables (perceived stress, specific prenatal worries, negative life events, symptoms of depression, trait anxiety, neuroticism) and diurnal maternal saliva cortisol secretion on gestational age and anthropometric measures at birth. RESULTS: Maternal prenatal distress during late gestation was associated with significant reduction in birth weight (-217 g; p = .005), birth length (-1.2 cm; p = .005) and head circumference (-0.8 cm; p = .001). Prenatal stress was modestly but significantly associated with altered diurnal cortisol pattern (flattened cortisol decline and higher evening cortisol), which in turn was significantly related to reduced length of gestation. No evidence for a profound interaction between maternal cortisol level in late pregnancy and infant's anthropometric measures at birth (i.e., birth weight, length, head circumference) was found. CONCLUSION: Prenatal stress is associated with flattened circadian saliva cortisol profiles and reduced infant's anthropometric measures at birth. HPA system activity during pregnancy may be related to low gestational age. The effect of prenatal stress might be partly mediated by maternal-placental-fetal neuroendocrine mechanisms especially the dysregulation of diurnal cortisol profile. SN - 1873-3360 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29783163/Maternal_hypothalamus_pituitary_adrenal__HPA__system_activity_and_stress_during_pregnancy:_Effects_on_gestational_age_and_infant's_anthropometric_measures_at_birth_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0306-4530(17)31307-0 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -