Stress-Induced Cortisol During Pregnancy Linked to Smaller Male Babies

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Julie Flom, MD MPH Clinical Fellow Division of Allergy & Immunology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Flom

Julie Flom, MD MPH
Clinical Fellow
Division of Allergy & Immunology
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: Women who are minorities and of lower socioeconomic have particularly high rates of exposure to chronic ongoing adversity such as poverty as well as traumatic stressors in their lifetime and are also more likely to have low birthweight infants.  Not all women exposed to chronic adversity or trauma transfer this risk to the next generation – it is primarily when the trauma results in changes in her bodies’ ability to handle ongoing stress that the developing child can be impacted.

Our group undertook a study to investigate whether women with increased exposure to traumatic stressors over her lifetime were at higher risk of having low birthweight infants and also whether effects of trauma would only be evident among women who produced higher levels of cortisol, the major stress response hormone, while pregnant.

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Low Birth Weight Associated With More Diabetes and Hypertension in Adulthood

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Chinese baby laying on a bed” by simpleinsomnia is licensed under CC BY 2.0Wanghong Xu, MD, PhD

Professor of Epidemiology
School of Public Health
Fudan University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis proposes that cardiovascular diseases and other chronic conditions in adulthood may be a consequence of an unfavorable intrauterine life, a relationship that is further modified by patterns of postnatal growth, environment, and lifestyle.

Based on the two large-scale cohort studies, the Shanghai Women’s Health Study and the Shanghai Men’s Health Study, we observed nonlinear associations for birth weight with baseline body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), and low birth weight was linked with lower BMI, smaller WC, but larger WHR and WHtR.

An excess risk of T2DM and hypertension was observed for low birth weight (<2500 g) versus birth weight of 2500-3499 g since baseline and since birth. The results support the DoHad hypothesis, and indicate the importance of nutrition in early life on health in Chinese population.  Continue reading

Maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy is associated with birth weight but not with gestational length

MedicalResearch.com Interview with : Verena Sengpiel, researcher
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy
University of Gothenburg

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Response:

1. Coffee, but not caffeine, consumption was associated with marginally increased gestational length but not with the risk of spontaneous preterm delivery.

2. Caffeine intake was consistently associated with decreased birth weight and increased odds of SGA (small for gestational age). This might have clinical implications as even caffeine consumption below the recommended maximum (200 mg/d in the Nordic countries and USA, 300 mg/d according to WHO) was associated with increased risk for SGA.
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