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J Perinat Med. 2013 May;41(3):259-65. doi: 10.1515/jpm-2012-0125.

Prenatal maternal stress predicts cord-blood ferritin concentration.



To examine the relationship between maternal stress in early pregnancy and cord-blood ferritin concentration.


The sample consisted of 140 pregnant women who lived in a region that was under rocket attack during a military operation (December 2008 to January 2009). Mothers in the stress group (n=63) were in their first trimester during this period. Mothers in the control group (n=77) became pregnant 4-5 months after the attacks ended. Maternal subjective stress was reported retrospectively. Cord-blood ferritin concentration was compared between stress and control groups, and was the dependent variable in a hierarchical multiple regression analysis.


The mean cord-blood ferritin concentration was lower in the stress group compared to the control group (145.7±62.0 vs. 169.3±85.4 ng/mL, P<0.05). The cumulative distribution of cord-blood ferritin showed a shift to the left for the stress group. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed that maternal subjective stress was a predictor for cord-blood ferritin concentration (hierarchical regression: β=-0.18, P<0.05), especially in the stress group (simple slope analysis: β=-0.32, P<0.01).


Maternal stress during the first trimester of pregnancy is associated with lower cord-blood ferritin concentration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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