Speech development in early childhood can indicate how well the baby’s nervous system is developing in the womb.

– directs the growth of the fetus and also affects its brain development.

However, the effects of cortisol on early language development are unknown.

In this study, researchers from Odense University Hospital analyzed data on the cortisol levels of 1,093 Danish women in their third trimester of pregnancy and the speech and language skills of 1,093 Danish children aged 12 to 37 months from the Odense Child Cohort.


They found it boys exposed to high cortisol levels in the womb They could say more words at 12-37 months of age, while girls understood more words at 12-21 months of age.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the relationship between maternal cortisol levels and language development in children over time, taking into account offspring gender and maternal educational level,” she said. to learn.

The Power of Hormones

He added: “We had access to a large study cohort, high-quality analysis methods, and relevant covariates, making our study an important contribution to the physiological understanding of prenatal cortisol exposure in fetal maturation and child development.”

The team will then evaluate Children exposed to high cortisol in the womb are more likely to have higher intelligence quotients (IQs).

Except for data on maternal cortisol levels and early language development, there are also data on intelligence tests performed by 7-year-old children in the Odense Child Cohort.

“Early language development in children is known to be a predictor of cognitive function later in life, such as attention, memory and learning, so we wanted to investigate whether prenatal cortisol exposure is also associated with IQ scores in 7-year-old children,” said Dr. Fenger Dreyer.

Source: Eurekalert

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