Comparing older and younger Japanese primiparae: Fatigue, depression and biomarkers of stress

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This cohort study of primiparae was conducted to answer the following questions: Do older (≧ 35 years) and younger (20–29 years) Japanese primiparous mothers differ when comparing biomarkers of stress and measures of fatigue and depression? Are there changes in fatigue, depression and stress biomarkers when comparing older and younger mothers during the postpartum period? The Postnatal Accumulated Fatigue Scale and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale were administered in a time-series method four times: shortly after birth and monthly afterwards. Assays to measure biomarkers of stress, urinary 17-ketosteroids, urinary 17-hydroxycorticosteroids and salivary chromogranin-A, were collected shortly after delivery and at 1 month postpartum in both groups and a third time in older mothers at the 4th month. Statistical testing showed very little difference in fatigue, depression or stress biomarkers between older and younger mothers shortly after birth or 1 month later. Accumulated fatigue and depression scores of older mothers were highest 1 month after delivery. Additional cohort studies are required to characterize physical/psychological well-being of older Japanese primiparae.

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