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

Tiffany Field, Miguel A. Diego, Maria Hernandez-Reif, Barbara Figueiredo, Angela Ascencio, Saul Schanberg, Cynthia Kuhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E11-16
JournalDepression and anxiety
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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