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Table 1 Comparison of demographics, hair variables, and medication use among the three groups of pregnant women

From: Hair cortisol as a hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis biomarker in pregnant women with asthma: a retrospective observational study

  Controls
(n = 31)
No ICS
(n = 31)
ICS treated
(n = 56)
P
Demographics
 Age, years, mean (SD) 33.8 (4.3) 31.6 (6.0) 33.3 (5.5) 0.240k
 BMI, kg/m2, median (IQR, n)     
  Pregnant 28.8 (25.4–32.5, 31) 28.2 (25.0–34.2, 25) 27.8 (24.7–32.2, 41) 0.716l
  Pre-Pregnancy 24.6 (20.9–27.2, 31) 25.8 (22.8–31.3, 25) 24.8 (21.8–29.4, 42) 0.554l
 PSS Score, mean (SD, n) 12 (5–26) 15 (7–9) 15 (6–23) 0.210k
Birth Data a
 Gestational age, weeks, median (IQR, n) 39.6 (39.0–40.9, 30) 39.1 (37.6–40.6, 28) 39.1 (38.1–40.3, 51) 0.155l
 Birth weight, kg, median (IQR, n) 3.41 (3.11–3.65, 31) 3.37 (2.76–3.64, 30) 3.31 (2.89–3.63, 52) 0.701l
Hair Sample Variables
 Sample age, daysb, mean (SD) 334 (82) 325 (93) 315 (103) 0.661k
 # Washes per week, median (IQR, n) 3.5 (2.5–4.5, 31) 3.0 (2.5–5.5, 24) 4.0 (3–6.6, 42) 0.141l
 # Days since last washed, median (IQR, n) 1 (0–2, 29) 1 (0–1, 23) 1 (0–1, 37) 0.375l
 Chemical treatmentc, n (%) 19 (61.3) 17 (of 26, 65.4) 25 (of 47, 53.2) 0.563m
Medication Use During Pregnancy
 Inhaled corticosteroid used, Yes/No No No Yes
 Oral corticosteroid usee, n (%) 0 (0) 3 (9.7) 4 (7.1) 0.280m
 Intranasal corticosteroid usef, n (%) 3 (9.7)h 2 (6.5)h 16 (28.6) 0.014 m
 Topical corticosteroid usef, n (%) 5 (16.1) 2 (6.4) 7 (12.5) 0.343m
 Other steroid hormone use (e.g., progesterone)f, n (%) 3 (9.7) 4 (12.9) 6 (10.7) 0.867m
 Beta-agonistf,g, n (%) 2 (6.4)i 24 (77.4)j 54 (96.4) <0.0001 m
 Number of other classes of medications usedf, median (IQR) 2 (1–3) 2 (0–4) 2 (1–3) 0.650l
  1. BMI body mass index, PSS perceived stress scale, IQR interquartile range, SD standard deviation
  2. aInclusive of data for twin births, the frequency of which was not significantly different among the groups. bThe age is calculated to the oldest part of the hair sample at the beginning of the preconception segment. cFor No ICS and ICS Treated, information regarding chemical treatment (color or relaxer) was not available for all women. The total number of women is indicated in the parentheses. dInhaled corticosteroid use includes any use within the time captured by the tested hair segment, regardless of frequency or duration. eOral corticosteroid use is reported if within one month prior to the tested hair segment. fUse within the last 12 months, which may not be during pregnancy. gIncludes beta-agonist drugs that are short and long-acting, including use of combination inhaler products. hSignificantly different from ICS Treated, P < 0.05. iSignificantly different from both No ICS and ICS Treated, P < 0.0001. jSignificantly different from ICS Treated P < 0.01. kOne-way analysis of variance with Tukey’s multiple comparison test. lKruskal-Wallis test with Dunn’s multiple comparison test. mChi-squared or Freeman-Halton extension of the Fisher’s exact probability test, as appropriate. Significant P-values are in bold