Prenatal maternal stress predicts cord-blood ferritin concentration

Rinat Armony-Sivan, Shraga Aviner, Lutzy Cojocaru, Shlomo Fytlovitch, Dora Ben-Alon, Anat Eliassy, Harvey Babkoff, Betsy Lozoff, Eyal Anteby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Aim: To examine the relationship between maternal stress in early pregnancy and cord-blood ferritin concentration. Methods: The sample consisted of 140 pregnant women who lived in a region that was under rocket attack during a military operation (December 2008 to January 2009). Mothers in the stress group (n = 63) were in their first trimester during this period. Mothers in the control group (n = 77) became pregnant 4 - 5 months after the attacks ended. Maternal subjective stress was reported retrospectively. Cord-blood ferritin concentration was compared between stress and control groups, and was the dependent variable in a hierarchical multiple regression analysis. Results: The mean cord-blood ferritin concentration was lower in the stress group compared to the control group (145.7±62.0 vs. 169.3±5.4 ng/mL, P<0.05). The cumulative distribution of cord-blood ferritin showed a shift to the left for the stress group. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed that maternal subjective stress was a predictor for cord-blood ferritin concentration (hierarchical regression: β- 0.18, P<0.05), especially in the stress group (simple slope analysis: β- 0.32, P<0.01). Conclusion: Maternal stress during the first trimester of pregnancy is associated with lower cord-blood ferritin concentration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-265
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Perinatal Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cord-blood
  • Ferritin
  • Fetal
  • Iron deficiency
  • Prenatal
  • Stress


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