Pregnant women living in blighted neighborhoods with high levels of known stressors have higher levels of testosterone – the primary sex hormone in males — which disrupt hormone regulation and may lead to life-threatening complications during and after childbirth, according to Rutgers research.  “Previous research has shown that exposure to neighborhood stressors is associated with preterm birth, low birth weight and other complications such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and stillbirth,” said Zorimar Rivera Núñez, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Rutgers School of Public Health and a senior author of the study published in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth.

“The purpose of this study was to look at possible mechanisms between neighborhood stressors and pregnancy health, and we looked at sex steroid hormones because they’re critically important for both fetal development and maternal health,” Rivera-Núñez said. To read the full story.