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Neuroendocrine response to violence during pregnancy: impact on duration of pregnancy and fetal growth
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, National Autonomous University of León, León, Nicaragua. (Center for Research on Health and Demography, Faculty of Medical Sciences, National Autonomous University of León, León, Nicaragua)
Center for Research on Health and Demography, Faculty of Medical Sciences, National Autonomous University of León, León, Nicaragua.
Program for Appropriate Technology in Health Gender, Violence, and Human Rights, Washington, DC, USA.
International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Department of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
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2009 (English)In: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, ISSN 0001-6349, E-ISSN 1600-0412, Vol. 88, no 7, 818-823 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: To study the neuroendocrine release of cortisol in response to perceived stress among pregnant women exposed to partner violence and how this affects the duration of pregnancy and the intrauterine growth of the infant. DESIGN: Cross-sectional community-based study. SETTING: Health and Demographic Surveillance System of Leon, Nicaragua. POPULATION: One-hundred and forty-seven pregnant women. METHODS: Standardized scales to measure intimate partner violence, social resources, perceived stress, and socio-economic conditions were applied. Two salivary samples for cortisol were collected in the morning and afternoon on the same day. Linear regression and path analysis were used. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Cortisol levels, gestational age, and weight at delivery. RESULTS: Partner violence during the pregnancy, low social resources, and perceived maternal stress were associated with high level of salivary cortisol. Pregnant women with high cortisol levels were significantly more likely to give birth to small-for-gestational age babies, but not to deliver preterm. A substantial decrease of birthweight, 121-186 g, was associated with an increase in cortisol in association with violence exposure. CONCLUSION: Partner violence during pregnancy is a stressor that provokes high levels of cortisol, which is associated with reduction of birthweight.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 88, no 7, 818-823 p.
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30569DOI: 10.1080/00016340903015321PubMedID: 19479450OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-30569DiVA: diva2:284726
Available from: 2010-01-08 Created: 2010-01-08 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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