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19.09.2019 | Original Paper

Perinatal Food Insecurity and Postpartum Psychosocial Stress are Positively Associated Among Kenyan Women of Mixed HIV Status

AIDS and Behavior
Pamela M. Murnane, Joshua D. Miller, Emily L. Tuthill, Shalean M. Collins, Torsten B. Neilands, Maricianah Onono, Craig R. Cohen, Sheri D. Weiser, Mark L. Laudenslager, Sera L. Young
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10461-019-02676-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Stress and food insecurity (FI) are associated with poor perinatal and HIV outcomes. We hypothesized that FI would increase postpartum stress among women in Kenya, and that the impact would be greater in women with HIV. Among 371 pregnant women, we identified latent FI trajectories across the perinatal period, and estimated their association with postpartum stress. Stress metrics included the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and hair cortisol concentrations (HCC). We identified two FI trajectories: persistent moderate FI and persistent mild FI. Moderate FI (vs. mild) was associated with higher PSS; this association was stronger among HIV-negative women. We observed a trend towards higher HCC associated with moderate FI, which did not differ by HIV status. HCC and PSS were not correlated. In summary, moderate FI (vs. mild) was associated with increased stress. The lack of PSS–HCC correlation could reflect different physiological pathways. Interventions to mitigate FI could alleviate postpartum stress.

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