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Korean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2009;52(12):1252-1257.
Published online December 1, 2009.
Clinical implication of salivary cortisol levels in pregnancy.
Eui Jung, Bo Yon Lee, Seung Bo Kim
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Kyunghee University, Seoul, Korea. eui2536@hotmail.com
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
The impact of maternal stress on pregnancy outcome has been a focus of research and cortisol is known as a biomarker of psychological stress. The aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship between salivary cortisol levels and pregnancy outcomes prospectively. METHODS: The subjects of this study were healthy pregnant women who collected morning samples of saliva (10~12 AM) at 10~13, 20~23 weeks of gestation, and postpartum 2 days between April 2007 to March 2008. Saliva was collected with commercial collector, Salivette(R), and cortisol level was analyzed by enzyme immunoassay. They also underwent ultrasonographic examination of umbilical and uterine artery Doppler between 20~23 weeks of gestation. Statistical analysis was assessed between salivary cortisol levels and pregnancy outcomes, including Doppler findings. RESULTS: A total 39 pregnant women collected salivary cortisol as indicated. They showed increase in cortisol level in 2nd trimester compared to 1st trimester, which decreased after delivery. Salivary cortisol level was not associated with maternal age, parity, occupation, body mass index, blood pressure, delivery mode, fetal sex, and fetal weight. However higher cortisol level was associated with lower resistance index of uterine artery, even there was no statistical significance. CONCLUSION: Our data could not show any association between salivary cortisol levels and pregnancy outcomes. Although this study presents a number of methodological and conceptual challenges, this does not necessarily preclude the use of salivary cortisol measures, but rather point to the importance of careful research design.
Key Words: Salivary cortisol, Stress, Pregnancy


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