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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > ImmunologyPregnancy



Pregnancy-related hormonal changes linked to increased risk of restless legs syndrome

Endocrinology • • Neurology • • PregnancyFeb 02 09

A study in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal Sleep shows that the elevation in estradiol levels that occurs during pregnancy is more pronounced in pregnant women with restless legs syndrome (RLS) than in controls.

During the last trimester of pregnancy, levels of the estrogenic steroid hormone estradiol were 34,211 pg/mL in women with RLS and 25,475 pg/mL in healthy controls. At three months postpartum, estradiol levels had dropped to 30.73 pg/mL in the RLS group and 94.92 pg/mL in controls. Other hormone levels did not differ significantly between the study groups.

According to the authors the data strongly suggest that estrogens play an important role in RLS during pregnancy. The study also supports previous reports of high RLS incidence in the last trimester of pregnancy when estradiol is maximally elevated.

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In-home counseling and peer support keep postnatal depression in check

Depression • • Pregnancy • • Psychiatry / PsychologyJan 19 09

In-home counseling by health visitors trained to identify depression in new mothers reduces the prevalence of postnatal depression at 12 months, according to a trial in the UK, while a Canadian study indicates that telephone-based peer support is also effective in preventing postnatal depression among women at risk.

Both studies are reported in the January 16 issue of BMJ Online First.

To determine the long-term effectiveness of an in-home psychological intervention for postnatal depression, Dr. C. Jane Morrell at the University of Huddersfield and colleagues conducted a prospective, cluster-randomized trial among 4084 women from 101 general practices near Trent, England.

“Health visitors are qualified nurses, with special experience in child health, health promotion and health education, employed as part of the NHS community health service,” Dr. Morrell told Reuters Health. “Part of a health visitor’s role is to visit families with new babies, in their home, as part of routine child health surveillance.”

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Nursing study concludes postnatal depression can possibly be prevented drug-free

Depression • • PregnancyJan 18 09

A heart-to-heart chat with a peer has proven an effective way to prevent postnatal depression in high risk women, cutting the risk of depression by 50%, according to a University of Toronto nursing study published in BMJ Online today.

Dr. Cindy-Lee Dennis, an associate professor at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and Canada research chair in perinatal community health, examined the effectiveness of telephone-based peer support to prevent postnatal depression in high risk women.

After Web-based screening of more than 21,000 women from seven health regions in Ontario, 701 high risk mothers were recruited and randomized to receive standard postnatal care or standard care and the support of a peer volunteer (who had experienced postnatal depression themselves).

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Who are you kidding?

Gender: Female • • Obesity • • Pregnancy • • Weight LossDec 22 08

The research was carried out by a team of researchers led by Sharon Herring, MD, MPH, an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Temple University. She said, “Compared to normal weight women who accurately assessed their pre-pregnancy weight status, the odds of gaining excessively during pregnancy were increased seven-fold among overweight and obese women who thought they weighed less than they really did. Normal weight women who thought they were overweight had twice the odds of excessive gestational weight gain.”

The authors studied 1537 women enrolled in Project Viva, a US birth cohort, who were normal weight, overweight or obese at the beginning of their pregnancies. Underweight women were not included. Of the 1029 normal weight participants, 898 (87%) correctly reported that they were normal weight just prior to pregnancy, while 131 (13%) incorrectly thought they were overweight or obese. Of the remaining women who were overweight or obese, 438 (86%) accurately perceived their body weight status, while 70 (14%) under-assessed their size before pregnancy.

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Drug for ecoptic pregnancy won’t harm ovaries

Fertility and pregnancy • • PregnancyDec 15 08

Use of a single dose of the drug methotrexate to treat ectopic pregnancy does not appear to curb a woman’s fertility, according to Spanish researchers.

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg is implanted outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes. These pregnancies can result in bleeding and death if the embryo is not removed, either surgically or with drug therapy.

To see whether methotrexate therapy for ectopic pregnancy impairs future fertility, researchers measured blood levels of a protein called anti-Müllerian hormone or AMH, which is an indicator of “ovarian reserve.”

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Even moderate drinking in pregnancy harmful: study

PregnancyDec 04 08

Children born to women who have as little as one drink a week during pregnancy are more likely to have symptoms of behavior problems as teens, according to research published this month in the journal Pediatrics.

“If women stop drinking during pregnancy, they can save themselves a lot of heartache later. Being the parent of a child with conduct disorder is really frustrating,” Dr. Elizabeth R. Disney of Chase Braxton Health Services in Baltimore, one of the researchers on the study, told Reuters Health.

The ill effects of heavy drinking during pregnancy, specifically the cluster of social and cognitive problems known as fetal alcohol syndrome, are well known, Disney and her team note in their report. There is also evidence that even a low level of prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with aggressiveness, delinquency and other so-called “externalizing behaviors.” But women who drink during pregnancy are themselves more likely to have these and other problems—and may tend to choose mates that have such problems as well, the researchers point out.

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“Watchful waiting” okay for hernias in pregnancy

PregnancyNov 28 08

A look back at 12 women who developed hernias while pregnant lends support to a “watchful waiting” management strategy during pregnancy, followed by hernia repair after delivery.

Hernia repair after delivery “provides similar results to the non-pregnant population,” report Dr. Celia M. Divino and colleagues from the department of surgery, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York.

The course of hernias in pregnancy, the effect of hernias on delivery, and the timing of hernia repair have not been established, the research team notes.

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Blood tests may show inherited diseases in fetuses

Genetics • • PregnancyNov 26 08

Doctors may soon be able to diagnose inherited diseases such as cystic fibrosis, thalassemia and sickle cell anemia in fetuses by simply testing a blood sample taken from the mother.

Until now, prenatal diagnoses of such disorders have been possible only through invasive procedures like amniocentesis, which carry a risk of fetal miscarriage.

Amniocentesis is the extraction of a small amount of fluid from the sac surrounding a developing fetus.

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Pregnancy study finds strong association between two antidepressants and heart anomalies

Heart • • PregnancyNov 24 08

Women who took the antidepressant fluoxetine during the first three months of pregnancy gave birth to four times as many babies with heart problems as women who did not and the levels were three times higher in women taking paroxetine.

Although some of the conditions were serious, others were not severe and resolved themselves without the need for medical intervention, according to a three-country study in the November issue of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Researchers have advised women taking the drugs to continue unless they are advised to stop by their doctor or consultant. But they are being urged to give up smoking, as the study also found that more than ten cigarettes a day was associated with a five-fold increase in babies with major heart problems.

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Pregnancy diabetes doubles the risk of language delay in children

Diabetes • • PregnancyNov 06 08

Children born to mothers with pregnancy-related diabetes run twice the risk of language development problems, according to a research team directed by Professor Ginette Dionne of Université Laval’s School of Psychology. Details of this discovery are published in the most recent issue of the scientific journal Pediatrics.

Researchers compared the vocabulary and grammar skills of 221 children whose mothers were diagnosed with gestational diabetes to those of 2,612 children from a control group. These tests were conducted at different intervals between ages 18 months and 7 years.

Results showed that children born to mothers with gestational diabetes achieve poorer scores on tests of spoken vocabulary and grammar than children of healthy mothers. The differences between the two groups are probably due to the effects of gestational diabetes on the brain development of babies. The study shows that these effects persist even after the children start school.

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Pregnancy disorder signals need to screen for heart disease, study shows

Heart • • PregnancyNov 04 08

High blood pressure experienced during pregnancy could be a woman’s earliest warning that she is at risk of developing heart disease - the number one killer of Canadian women - says Queen’s University professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Graeme Smith.

Called pre-eclampsia, this type of high blood pressure occurs in 5-10 per cent of all pregnancies.

But because most practicing physicians are unaware of the connection between pre-eclampsia and the risk for future cardiovascular problems, they fail to follow up with screening tests. As a result, their patients aren’t taking proactive steps to avoid potential heart attacks and strokes.

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Nicotine replacement safe during pregnancy

Pregnancy • • Tobacco & MarijuanaOct 26 08

For women trying to quit smoking during pregnancy, using nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine patches or nicotine gum does not increase the likelihood of a stillbirth, a study shows.

“Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of stillbirth,” the researchers write in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. “The use of NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) in pregnancy is a possible harm reduction strategy,” they add.

Using national data, Dr. K. Strandberg-Larsen, at the University of Southern Denmark in Copenhagen, and colleagues gathered information on NRT use and smoking for 87,032 singleton pregnancies.

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Woman in Berlin gives birth to sextuplets

PregnancyOct 21 08

A woman who had been struggling to conceive ended up giving birth to six healthy babies in a German hospital, the medical director of Berlin’s Charite hospital said Monday.

Ulrich Frei said the woman had given birth to four boys and two girls—each weighing between 800 and 900 grams (about 2 pounds)—after 27 weeks of gestation Thursday.

The woman had undergone a standard fertility treatment after unsuccessful attempts to become pregnant, Wolfgang Henrich, a doctor who assisted the delivery, told a news conference.

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Early exposure to drugs, alcohol creates lifetime of health risk

Pregnancy • • Sexual HealthOct 16 08

People who began drinking and using marijuana regularly prior to their 15th birthday face a higher risk of early pregnancy, as well as a pattern of school failure, substance dependence, sexually-transmitted disease and criminal convictions that lasts into their 30s.

A study published online by the journal Psychological Science has been able to sort out for the first time the difficult question of whether it’s bad kids who do drugs, or doing drugs that makes kids bad.

The answer is both, said Duke University psychologist Avshalom Caspi, who co-authored the report with his wife and colleague Terrie Moffitt. They are part of a team of researchers from the U.S., Britain and New Zealand that analyzed data tracking the health of nearly 1,000 New Zealand residents from birth through age 32.

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Smoking during pregnancy can put mums and babies at risk

Children's Health • • PregnancySep 11 08

Pregnant women who suffer from the high risk condition pre-eclampsia — which leads to the death of hundreds of babies every year — are putting the lives of their unborn children at significantly increased risk if they continue to smoke during pregnancy.

But experts at The University of Nottingham have also shown that if women give up smoking before or even during pregnancy they can significantly reduce these risks.

The study linking smoking and pre-eclampsia was carried out by the Genetics of Pre-Eclampsia Consortium (GOPEC) and was funded by the British Heart Foundation. The results have just been published in the journal Hypertension.

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