Salivary cortisol in pregnant women suffering from blood-and injection phobia
2011 (English)In: Archives of Women's Mental Health, ISSN 1434-1816, E-ISSN 1435-1102, Vol. 14, no 5, 405-411 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Purpose: Stress and/or anxiety during pregnancy affect maternal and fetal wellbeing and can cause premature delivery and postnatal pathology in the child. Women suffering from phobias related to blood and injections are prone to high levels of stress including anxiety and sometimes panic attacks during pregnancy. Cortisol is amongst the mediators through which the neurohormonal expressions of maternal psychological factors may be transduced to the fetus. The aim was to investigate if pregnant women suffering from blood- and injection phobia have raised cortisol levels or are characterized by unusual diurnal salivary cortisol profiles compared to healthy controls.
Methods: The sample consisted of 110 pregnant women with blood- and injection phobia and 110 pregnant healthy controls. Both groups provided morning and evening saliva samples in week 25 and 36 for the assay of cortisol. In gestational week 25 when blood was drawn for the mandatory blood testing extra blood was taken to analyze corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol in serum.
Results: The expected diurnal decline in salivary cortisol was observed as well as increased cortisol levels during pregnancy. Pregnant women suffering from blood- and injection phobia had higher output of cortisol compared to women without the phobia (F=6.25 df=1 p=0.014) but no marked difference in the diurnal cortisol rhythm was found between the groups.
Conclusion: Our findings indicate that untreated blood- and injection phobia during pregnancy increases cortisol concentrations. Blood- and injection phobia is treatable and cognitive behavioral therapy can be used.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2011. Vol. 14, no 5, 405-411 p.
Cortisol, anxiety, stress, pregnancy, blood- and injection phobia
National CategoryObstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-59744DOI: 10.1007/s00737-011-0234-2ISI: 000297847800005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-59744DiVA: diva2:353233