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Oxytocin and Epstein-Barr Virus: Stress biomarkers in the postpartum period among first-time mothers from São Paulo, Brazil

Rudzik, Alanna EF; Breakey, Alicia; Bribiescas, Richard G

Oxytocin and Epstein-Barr Virus: Stress biomarkers in the postpartum period among first-time mothers from São Paulo, Brazil Thumbnail


Authors

Alanna EF Rudzik

Alicia Breakey

Richard G Bribiescas



Abstract

Objectives: The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between self-reported stress levels among new mothers in São Paulo, Brazil and two biomarkers of stressful experience, oxytocin (OT) and Epstein-Barr Virus antibody level (EBV-ab), with planned pregnancy hypothesized as a moderator of biological response to stressful conditions. Methods: Sixty-three first-time mothers between the ages of 15 and 45 were recruited from neighborhoods in São Paulo, Brazil. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected longitudinally, bi-weekly between two and 12 weeks postpartum. OT level was assessed from breast milk samples and EBV-ab from blood spot samples. An Interpersonal Satisfaction scale was developed, validated, and administered, along with the Cohen perceived stress scale (PSS). Results: In-depth interview data revealed unplanned pregnancy to be a significant stressor in the lives of first-time mothers. In linear regression, OT level was negatively associated with interpersonal satisfaction score (P = 0.022) and positively associated with PSS score (P = 0.007). When splitting the sample by planned status of the pregnancy, women with an unplanned pregnancy showed a strengthened positive association between OT level and PSS (P = 0.001; Adj R2 = 0.44) and negative association with interpersonal satisfaction (P = 0.017; Adj R2 = 0.15), while no associations existed for women with a planned pregnancy. EBV-ab level was not correlated or associated with stress/satisfaction measures. Conclusion: OT is an effective biomarker in the measurement of stress in the body, and additionally reflects differential experiences with difficult interpersonal circumstances, such as unplanned pregnancy. By contrast, EBV-ab failed to reflect differences in self-reported stress levels between mothers

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Deposit Date Nov 7, 2013
Publicly Available Date Mar 10, 2015
Journal American Journal of Human Biology
Print ISSN 1042-0533
Electronic ISSN 1520-6300
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 1
Pages 43-50
DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.22489
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1475076
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajhb.22489/abstract

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Copyright Statement
This is the accepted version of the following article: Rudzik, Alanna E.F. and Breakey, Alicia and Bribiescas, Richard G. (2014) 'Oxytocin and Epstein-Barr virus : stress biomarkers in the postpartum period among first-time mothers from São Paulo, Brazil.', American journal of human biology., 26 (1). pp. 43-50, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.22489. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.






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