Document Type


Publication Date



Purpose: COVID-19 has increased risk of mental health disorders and substance use in vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women and women with young children. This study characterizes the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on real-time physiologic outcomes, assessed as heart rate variability (HRV), in pregnant and postpartum women with intersecting vulnerabilities.

Methods: A subset of pregnant and postpartum women were identified from the ENRICH-2 prospective cohort study. Women were recruited and classified into alcohol-exposed and control groups based on repeated self-report measures and comprehensive ethanol biomarker panels. HRV was captured continuously via wearable electronics along with the administration of mobile ecological momentary assessments (mEMA). HRV 5-minute epochs pre-/during/post-mEMA administration were included for analysis for two weeks. HRV measures included standard deviation of RR intervals (SDNN), root mean square of successive RR interval differences (RMSSD), and mean of all 5-minute interval standard deviations over 24-hours (SDNN index). HRV frequency-domain measurements included relative power of low-frequency, high-frequency bands, and their ratio (LF/HF). Mean + standard deviation are reported. Measurement differences were identified using Mann Whitney U test.

Data/Results:To date, data has been obtained from 57 participants (37 pregnant; 20 postpartum; 43 control, 14 alcohol-exposed). A larger proportion of ethnic minorities are represented (52.6% Hispanics, 5.3% Native Americans), and 8.8% have income

Conclusion: Next steps are to assess results of stress-related changes in physiological measures, and to review associations between measures of psychosomatic health and perinatal and pediatric outcomes. NIAAA funding: 3 R01 AA021771-08S1


Poster presented at the Brain & Behavioral Health Research Day 2022



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.