Prenatal salivary sex hormone levels and birth-weight-for-gestational age.

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Journal of Perinatology

MeSH Headings

Prenatal Care; Saliva Analysis; Sex Hormones Analysis; Birth Weight; Gestational Age; Human; Progesterone Analysis; Testosterone Analysis; Estradiol Analysis; Dehydroepiandrosterone Analysis; Cortisone Analysis; Expectant Mothers; Mexico; Prospective Studies; Linear Regression; Infant, Small for Gestational Age; Infant, Large for Gestational Age; Maternal Age; Sex Factors; Body Mass Index; Parity; Smoking; Educational Status; Socioeconomic Factors; Risk Assessment


Objective: To determine whether prenatal sex hormones from maternal saliva are associated with birth-weight-for-gestational age. Study design: We measured salivary progesterone, testosterone, estradiol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and cortisone in 504 pregnant women in a Mexico City cohort. We performed linear and modified Poisson regression to examine associations of log-transformed hormones with birth-weight-for-gestational age z-scores and the risk of small-for-gestational age (SGA) and large-for-gestational age (LGA) adjusting for maternal age, sex, BMI, parity, smoking, education, and socioeconomic status. Results: In total, 15% of infants were SGA and 2% were LGA. Each interquartile range increment in testosterone/estradiol ratio was associated with a 0.12 decrement in birth-weight-for-gestational age z-score (95% CI: −0.27 to −0.02) and a 50% higher risk of SGA versus appropriate-for-gestational age (AGA) (95% CI: 1.13–1.99). Conclusion: Higher salivary testosterone/estradiol ratios may affect fetal growth, and identifying the predictors of hormone levels may be important to optimizing fetal growth.

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