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Parity-related variation in cortisol concentrations in hair during pregnancy and in the postpartum period: a prospective cohort study
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  • Ina Marteinsdottir,
  • Gunilla Sydsjo,
  • Åshild Faresjö,
  • Elvar Theodorsson,
  • Ann Josefsson
Ina Marteinsdottir
Linnaeus University
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Gunilla Sydsjo
Linkoping University
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Åshild Faresjö
Linköping University
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Elvar Theodorsson
Linköping University
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Ann Josefsson
Linköping University
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Abstract

Objective: To investigate hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) monthly in pregnant women and to explore the effect of parity. Design: Prospective cohort study from gestational week (GW) 26, at childbirth and postpartum. Setting: An antenatal care clinic in southeast Sweden. Sample: 390 pregnant women. Methods: Cortisol was measured using radioimmunoassay in methanol extracts of ground hair samples. Main outcome measures: Hair cortisol concentrations Results: Both primi- and multiparae exhibited an increase in HCC throughout pregnancy. Primiparae had significantly higher HCC in the latter part of the last trimester compared to multiparae (one month p=0.003 and two months p=0.038). The use of psychotropic medication in the first trimester correlated to HCC postpartum (p<0.001). HCC in GW 14-17 were associated with HCC in GWs 18-21 (primiparae and multiparae, p<0.001), GW 22-25 (primiparae p=0.036 and multiparae p=0.033), and two months postpartum (primiparae p=0.049). HCC in GW 18-21 was associated with GW 22-25 among both primiparae (p<0.001) and multiparae (p<0.001) as well as two months prior to childbirth among primiparae (<0.037). In general, all estimates of HCC in pregnancy and postpartum showed a significant association between HCC for a specific month and the HCC in the previous month (all p<0.001), except for the association of HCC among primiparae in GW 22-25 and three months prior to childbirth. Conclusions: Increased cortisol concentrations in hair were observed during pregnancy, which decreased three months prior to childbirth in multiparae. The results indicate a quicker suppression of the hypothalamic CRH production by placenta CRH in multiparous women.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

18 Jun 2020Submitted to BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
22 Jun 2020Submission Checks Completed
22 Jun 2020Assigned to Editor
01 Jul 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
05 Aug 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
24 Aug 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
08 Sep 20201st Revision Received
11 Sep 2020Submission Checks Completed
11 Sep 2020Assigned to Editor
12 Sep 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
22 Sep 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
23 Sep 2020Editorial Decision: Accept