Irregular rest-activity patterns can disrupt metabolic and hormonal physiology and potentially lead to disease. Little is known regarding rest-activity patterns during gestation and their association with hormonal rhythms and health in pregnant women. We conducted a pilot study to determine if 24 h rest-activity was related to saliva cortisol rhythms and maternal- fetal health in an economically disadvantaged population. Primiparous women wore a wrist actigraphy device for a week to record activity during gestational weeks 22 (G22; n = 50) and 32 (G32; n = 46) and postpartum week one (PPW1; n = 39). Participants collected saliva samples every 4 hr over a 24 hr period during G22 (n = 22), G32 (n = 20) and 24-48 hr postnatal (n = 20), and cortisol concentrations were measured with ELISA. Circadian rhythmicity was assessed using autocorrelation coefficient (r24) and cosinor analysis. Blood glucose levels, body mass index (BMI), gestational disease data, and gestational age of infant at birth were abstracted from medical charts. Time of cortisol peak (acrophase) during G22 was related with acrophase of activity (r = 0.66; p = 0.001) and blood glucose levels (r = 0.58; p = 0.006). During G22, minutes of wake after sleep onset was positively related to cortisol mesor and AUC (p <0.05). Rest-activity r24, R2, and mesor during G32 were positively (p<0.05) associated with gestational age of infant at birth. Across all three time points r24 of activity was related with cortisol amplitude (r = 0.33; p = 0.01). Findings support a relationship between rest-activity patterns and saliva cortisol rhythms during pregnancy. The association of less robust activity rhythms with earlier gestational age of infant at birth indicates a potential link between circadian system disruption and maternal-fetal health outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)