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The association between perceived emotional support, maternal mood, salivary cortisol, salivary cortisone, and the ratio between the two compounds in response to acute stress in second trimester pregnant women


La Marca-Ghaemmaghami, Pearl; La Marca, Roberto; Dainese, Sara M; Haller, Marina; Zimmermann, Roland; Ehlert, Ulrike (2013). The association between perceived emotional support, maternal mood, salivary cortisol, salivary cortisone, and the ratio between the two compounds in response to acute stress in second trimester pregnant women. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 75(4):314-320.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Little is known about the effect of social support on the reactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis during pregnancy. Moreover, when investigating the HPA axis most studies do not consider the activity of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11β-HSD2), an enzyme within the salivary glands that inactivates cortisol to cortisone. This study explores the association between perceived emotional support and the maternal psychobiological stress response to a standardized naturalistic stressor by assessing maternal mood and the reactivity of salivary cortisol (SalF), salivary cortisone (SalE), and the SalE/(E+F) ratio as a marker of 11β-HSD2 activity.
METHODS: Repeated saliva samples and measures of maternal mood were obtained from 34 healthy second trimester pregnant women undergoing amniocentesis which served as a psychological stressor. The pregnant women additionally responded to a questionnaire of perceived emotional support and provided sociodemographic (e.g., maternal educational degree) and pregnancy-specific data (e.g., planned versus unplanned pregnancy).
RESULTS: Perceived emotional support neither showed a significant effect on mood nor on the SalF or SalE response to stress. However, a moderately strong positive association was found between perceived emotional support and SalE/(E+F) (r=.49). Additionally, the final regression analysis revealed a significant negative relationship between educational degree, planned/unplanned pregnancy and SalE/(E+F).
CONCLUSION: Findings suggest a higher metabolization of cortisol to cortisone in pregnant women with higher emotional support. In contrast, higher maternal education and unplanned pregnancy appear to be associated with decreased salivary 11β-HSD2 activity. The current study emphasizes the importance of taking the activity of 11β-HSD2 into account when examining SalF.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Little is known about the effect of social support on the reactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis during pregnancy. Moreover, when investigating the HPA axis most studies do not consider the activity of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11β-HSD2), an enzyme within the salivary glands that inactivates cortisol to cortisone. This study explores the association between perceived emotional support and the maternal psychobiological stress response to a standardized naturalistic stressor by assessing maternal mood and the reactivity of salivary cortisol (SalF), salivary cortisone (SalE), and the SalE/(E+F) ratio as a marker of 11β-HSD2 activity.
METHODS: Repeated saliva samples and measures of maternal mood were obtained from 34 healthy second trimester pregnant women undergoing amniocentesis which served as a psychological stressor. The pregnant women additionally responded to a questionnaire of perceived emotional support and provided sociodemographic (e.g., maternal educational degree) and pregnancy-specific data (e.g., planned versus unplanned pregnancy).
RESULTS: Perceived emotional support neither showed a significant effect on mood nor on the SalF or SalE response to stress. However, a moderately strong positive association was found between perceived emotional support and SalE/(E+F) (r=.49). Additionally, the final regression analysis revealed a significant negative relationship between educational degree, planned/unplanned pregnancy and SalE/(E+F).
CONCLUSION: Findings suggest a higher metabolization of cortisol to cortisone in pregnant women with higher emotional support. In contrast, higher maternal education and unplanned pregnancy appear to be associated with decreased salivary 11β-HSD2 activity. The current study emphasizes the importance of taking the activity of 11β-HSD2 into account when examining SalF.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Obstetrics
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Psychotherapeutisches Zentrum des Psychologischen Instituts UZH
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:05 Nov 2013 11:34
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:06
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-3999
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.08.010
PubMed ID:24119936

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