Prenatal dysthymia versus major depression effects on maternal cortisol and fetal growth.
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.
Field, T; Diego, MA; Hernandez-Reif, M; Figueiredo, B; Ascencio, A; Schanberg, S; Kuhn, C
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