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Parity does not alter baseline or stimulated activity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in women

Federenko, Ilona S., Wolf, Jutta M., Wust, Stefan, Schlotz, Wolff, Hellhammer, Juliane, Kudielka, Brigitte M., Kirschbaum, Clemens, Hellhammer, Dirk H. and Wadhwa, Pathik D. (2006) Parity does not alter baseline or stimulated activity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in women Developmental Psychobiology, 48, (8), pp. 703-711. (doi:10.1002/dev.20187).

Record type: Article


Pregnancy is associated with considerable physiological adaptations, some of which long outlast the state of pregnancy. Although it is well documented that pregnancy produces alterations of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, the longer-term effects of pregnancy on this system have not been systematically examined in humans. Subjects in the present study were 159 nulliparous and 265 parous women. Data analysis revealed no impact of parity on baseline activity (salivary cortisol: response to awakening, F </= .03, day profile: F </= 3.89, both n.s.). In a subsample, similar results were obtained for dexamethasone-suppressed salivary cortisol levels (all F </= 1.45 n.s., n = 45), as well as salivary cortisol, total cortisol, and ACTH responses to stimulation with a psychosocial stress protocol (all F </= .93 n.s., n = 47). These findings suggest that parity is not associated with long-term alterations of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activity, and postpregnancy measures can, therefore, be used as proxy markers for a woman's prepregnancy status of this system.

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Published date: 16 November 2006
Keywords: parity, pregnancy, psychosocial stress, feedback sensitivity, cortisol, acth, hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis


Local EPrints ID: 47557
ISSN: 0012-1630
PURE UUID: f2e90cd9-1e10-4370-8295-8a0a8e2661eb

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Date deposited: 02 Aug 2007
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:03

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Author: Ilona S. Federenko
Author: Jutta M. Wolf
Author: Stefan Wust
Author: Wolff Schlotz
Author: Juliane Hellhammer
Author: Brigitte M. Kudielka
Author: Clemens Kirschbaum
Author: Dirk H. Hellhammer
Author: Pathik D. Wadhwa

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