Format

Send to

Choose Destination
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2015 Dec 22;15:346. doi: 10.1186/s12884-015-0793-8.

Maternal cortisol and stress are associated with birth outcomes, but are not affected by lipid-based nutrient supplements during pregnancy: an analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial in rural Malawi.

Author information

1
Program in International and Community Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, CA, USA. cpstewart@ucdavis.edu.
2
Program in International and Community Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, CA, USA. boaks@ucdavis.edu.
3
Western Human Nutrition Research Center, USDA-ARS, Davis, CA, USA. Kevin.Laugero@ARS.USDA.GOV.
4
Department for International Health, USDA-ARS, Tampere, Finland. ulla.ashorn@uta.fi.
5
Department for International Health, USDA-ARS, Tampere, Finland. ulla.harjunmaa@uta.fi.
6
Department of Community Health, University of Malawi College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi. chizakumwenda@yahoo.co.uk.
7
Department of Community Health, University of Malawi College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi. davidchaima@gmail.com.
8
Department of Community Health, University of Malawi College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi. ken.maleta@gmail.com.
9
Department for International Health, USDA-ARS, Tampere, Finland. per.ashorn@uta.fi.
10
Department of Paediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland. per.ashorn@uta.fi.
11
Program in International and Community Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, CA, USA. kgdewey@ucdavis.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Prenatal micronutrient supplements have been found to increase birth weight, but mechanisms for increased growth are poorly understood. Our hypotheses were that 1) women who receive lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) during pregnancy would have lower mean salivary cortisol concentration at 28 wk and 36 wk gestation compared to the multiple micronutrient (MMN) and iron-folic acid (IFA) supplement groups and 2) both salivary cortisol and perceived stress during pregnancy would be associated with shorter duration of gestation and smaller size at birth.

METHODS:

Women were enrolled in the trial in early pregnancy and randomized to receive LNS, MMN, or iron-folic acid (IFA) supplements daily throughout pregnancy. At enrollment, 28 wk and 36 wk gestation, saliva samples were collected and their cortisol concentration was measured. Self-report of perceived stress was measured using questionnaires. Gestation duration was indicated by ultrasound dating and newborn anthropometric measurements (weight, length, head circumference) provided indicators of intrauterine growth.

RESULTS:

Of the 1391 women enrolled in the trial, 1372, 906 and 1049 saliva samples were collected from women at baseline, 28 wk and 36 wk, respectively. There were no significant differences in mean cortisol concentrations by intervention group at 28 wk or 36 wk gestation. Cortisol concentrations were negatively associated with duration of gestation (Baseline: β = -0.05, p = 0.039; 36 wk: β = -0.04, p = 0.037) and birth weight (28 wk: β = -0.08, p = 0.035; 36 wk: β = -0.11, p = 0.003) but not associated with length-for-age or head circumference-for-age z-scores. Perceived stress at 36 wk was significantly associated with shorter newborn LAZ (p = 0.001). There were no significant associations with the risk of small for gestational age, preterm birth, or low birth weight.

CONCLUSIONS:

Maternal salivary cortisol concentration was strongly associated with birth weight and duration of gestation in rural Malawi, but these data do not support the hypothesis that LNS provision to pregnant women would influence their salivary cortisol concentrations.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT01239693.

PMID:
26694646
PMCID:
PMC4688934
DOI:
10.1186/s12884-015-0793-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center