Social Science & Medicine publishes findings on association of stress and placental Corticotrophin-releasing hormone in pregnancy

December 1, 2020

The findings of ECHO PATHWAYS investigators’ study examining whether the role of maternal exposure to multiple types of stressful and traumatic events was associated with the the level and rise of placental Corticotrophin-Releasing Hormone (pCRH) across pregnancy were published in Social Science & Medicine. The study specifically examined traumatic events that occurred in childhood, traumatic events that occurred throughout the woman’s total lifetime, and exposure to major stressors during pregnancy. The findings' most important implication is the need for, and importance of, systematic efforts to prevent childhood abuse from happening in the first place, and of programs targeted at detecting and ending ongoing child abuse, to prevent its many harmful long term effects, which in addition to higher pCRH levels among pregnant women includes physical and mental health problems, altered neurobiology and stress physiology, negative socioeconomic, educational and work related outcomes, major societal costs. ECHO PATHWAYS investigator Dr. Iris Steine was first author and mPI Dr. Nicole Bush was last author.