The effects of birth condition on infants' cortisol response to stress

D. S. Ramsay, Michael Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective, design, and subjects. To examine the effects of nonoptimal birth condition on cortisol response to routine inoculation in a longitudinal sample of full-term healthy infants at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. Measurement and main results. Optimal versus non-optimal birth condition was defined by a large versus small head circumference and a high versus low 1-minute Apgar score. An optimal birth condition was associated with a high cortisol response at 2 months, but a low cortisol response by 6 months of age. Conclusions. The findings indicate a reversal in the meaning of high adrenocortical reactivity between 2 and 6 months of age: high cortisol response may index optimal functioning at 2 months, but nonoptimal functioning by 6 months of age. Together with other results, this reversal provides evidence for a developmental shift in adrenocortical functioning during this period. The findings also show that the effects of a nonoptimal birth condition in otherwise healthy full-term infants persist for at least the first 6 months of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-549
Number of pages4
JournalPediatrics
Volume95
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

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Hydrocortisone
Parturition
Apgar Score
Head

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

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The effects of birth condition on infants' cortisol response to stress. / Ramsay, D. S.; Lewis, Michael.

In: Pediatrics, Vol. 95, No. 4, 01.01.1995, p. 546-549.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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