Prenatal dysthymia versus major depression effects on maternal cortisol and fetal growth.


Journal Article

To determine differences between pregnant women diagnosed with Dysthymia versus Major Depression, depressed pregnant women (N=102) were divided by their diagnosis into Dysthymic (N=48) and Major Depression (N=54) groups and compared on self-report measures (depression, anxiety, anger, daily hassles and behavioral inhibition), on stress hormone levels (cortisol and norepinephrine), and on fetal measurements. The Major Depression group had more self-reported symptoms. However, the Dysthymic group had higher prenatal cortisol levels and lower fetal growth measurements (estimated weight, femur length, abdominal circumference) as measured at their first ultrasound (M=18 weeks gestation). Thus, depressed pregnant women with Dysthymia and Major Depression appeared to have different prenatal symptoms.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Field, T; Diego, MA; Hernandez-Reif, M; Figueiredo, B; Ascencio, A; Schanberg, S; Kuhn, C

Published Date

  • 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 6

Start / End Page

  • E11 - E16

PubMed ID

  • 17587221

Pubmed Central ID

  • 17587221

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1520-6394

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/da.20307


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States