Dysphoria and immune status in postpartum women

Hucklebridge, Frank, Smith , M.D., Clow, Angela, Evans, Philip D., Glover, Vivette, Taylor, Alyx, Adams, Diana and Lydyard, Peter M. (1994) Dysphoria and immune status in postpartum women. Biological Psychology, 37 (3). pp. 199-206. ISSN 0301-0511

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0301-0511(94)90002-7


This study investigated the relationship between psychological factors and circulating immune cell populations in postpartum women. The study group was 75 women who had vaginal deliveries and were free of psychotropic medication. Four days postpartum each subject completed three mood questionnaires, and a small blood sample was taken. All questionnaire scores were shown to be highly inter-correlated and principal component factor analysis revealed a single factor which we term dysphoria. This factor was significantly associated with lower total circulating lymphocyte counts. The effect was strongest for T cells (largely attributable to a reduction in CD4 + ve T helper cells) and weaker for NK cell counts. No evidence was found of a mediating role for serum Cortisol although serum cortisol levels were weakly related to immune status. This study has thus demonstrated that changes in the distribution of the lymphocyte pool are associated with relatively minor differences in postpartum affect.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Social Sciences and Humanities
Depositing User: Rachel Wheelhouse
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2011 11:57
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2011 11:57
URI: http://westminsterresearch.wmin.ac.uk/id/eprint/9950

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