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Open Access Research article

Quality of life evaluation in Japanese pregnant women with striae gravidarum: A cross-sectional study

Kotomi Yamaguchi12*, Nobuhiko Suganuma2 and Kazutomo Ohashi1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Children and Women’s Health, Division of Health Sciences, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-7 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan

2 Department of Human Health Sciences, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, 53 Kawahara-chou, Shogoin, Sakyou-ku, Kyoto, 606-8507, Japan

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:450  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-450

Published: 21 August 2012

Abstract

Background

Striae gravidarum is a physiological skin change that many pregnant women experience during pregnancy. The striae are often accompanied by a reddish purple color during pregnancy, and then lose pigmentation and become atrophic in the long term after pregnancy. Striae gravidarum seems to be undesirable to many pregnant women. However, the impact of striae gravidarum on pregnant women who experience it has not been clarified. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of striae gravidarum on the generic and dermatology-specific quality of life (QOL) of pregnant women.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted at three private clinics in a typical urban area in Japan. We recruited 447 pregnant women at 36 weeks of gestation; One hundred and ninety-nine pregnant women at 36 weeks of gestation participated in the study and 179, consisting of 94 primiparae and 85 multiparae, were analyzed.

We used and assessed Davey’s score for striae gravidarum, World Health Organization Quality of Life assessment questionnaire for generic QOL, and Skindex-29 for dermatology-specific QOL.

Results

The prevalence of striae gravidarum was 39.1% (27.7% in primiparae, and 51.8% in multiparae). Although there were no differences in generic QOL scores between the presence and absence of striae gravidarum and with their severity, the whole group of pregnant women and the multiparae group showed significant differences in scores on emotion of Skindex-29 between the presence and absence of striae gravidarum (p = 0.012 and p = 0.011). Pregnant women with severe striae gravidarum showed significantly higher scores on emotion of Skindex-29 compared with those with absent or mild striae gravidarum (p < 0.001 and p = 0.005).

Conclusions

There was no difference in generic QOL of pregnant women between the presence and absence of striae gravidarum, although the occurrence and severity of striae gravidarum influenced their dermatology-specific QOL. Multiparae women were especially impaired by striae gravidarum and it is considered important to prevent or reduce the severity of striae gravidarum of the multiparae group.

Keywords:
Striae gravidarum; Quality of life; Japanese pregnant women