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J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2011 Aug;37(8):1004-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0756.2010.01473.x. Epub 2011 Apr 4.

Change of salivary stress marker concentrations during pregnancy: maternal depressive status suppress changes of those levels.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aizenbashi Hospital, Osaka, Japan.



The aim of the present study was to show changes in salivary cortisol and chromogranin A/protein concentrations as stress markers during pregnancy and to clarify the effect of chronic stress on stress markers.


Salivary samples were collected from 69 pregnant women during pregnancy. Salivary cortisol levels and chromogranin A/protein titers were determined. We surveyed the women's chronic stress using the Zung self-rating depression scale and General Health Questionnaire-28.


Cortisol levels in the saliva of pregnant women showed biphasic change during pregnancy. Chromogranin A/protein levels in the saliva of pregnant women increased in the second and the early third trimesters and decreased to the puerperal period. Salivary cortisol concentrations of the chronic high stress group were significantly lower compared with those of the normal group. Salivary chromogranin A/protein concentrations of the chronic high stress group were also significantly lower than those of the normal group.


The titration of salivary cortisol concentrations and chromogranin A/protein levels is a useful tool to determine maternal stress levels. The elevation of cortisol and chromogranin A/protein in the saliva was suppressed in the chronic high stress group during pregnancy.

© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research © 2011 Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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