Aim: To explore the relationships among psychosocial factors (optimism, uncertainty, social support, coping, psychological distress), biomarkers (cortisol, cytokines), preeclampsia, and preterm birth in African American women.
Methods: Forty-nine pregnant African American women completed psychosocial questionnaires and had blood collected for biomarkers between 26 and 36 weeks of gestation. Birth outcomes were obtained from birth records.
Results: Women reporting higher levels of social support had lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-2, IL-5, and IL-6). Surprisingly, compared with low-risk pregnant women, women diagnosed with preeclampsia reported more optimism and less avoidance, and had lower levels of cortisol and IFN-γ. Similarly, compared to women with full-term birth, women with preterm birth reported higher levels of optimism and lower levels of avoidance, and had lower levels of IL-10.
Conclusion: Psychosocial factors influence inflammation and pregnancy outcomes. Close assessment and monitoring of psychosocial factors may contribute to improved pregnancy outcomes.
Keywords: Cytokines; Preeclampsia; Preterm birth; Stress.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.