(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Women with any form of diabetes are significantly
more likely to experience depression during pregnancy or in the months following
childbirth, according to a new study.
Harvard researchers examined the association between diabetes and depression in
the perinatal period -- the last several months of pregnancy and the year
following childbirth -- among more than 11,000 low-income women.
After controlling for the effects of age, race, year of delivery and preterm
birth, researchers found women with diabetes had nearly double the odds of
having a depression diagnosis or taking an antidepressant medication during the
perinatal period compared with those who had no indication of diabetes. The
study found the association remained consistent across the various types of
Also, even if there were no signs of depression during the pregnancy, women with
diabetes had higher odds of experiencing a new onset of depression during the
postpartum period than those without diabetes.
The researchers said they hope their findings will help policymakers target
vulnerable women who often fall through the cracks.
"Among all women with depression, diabetes or other mental or physical health
conditions that complicate the normal course of pregnancy and postpartum
recovery, careful monitoring and appropriate treatment are critical to ensuring
the health of the mother and her child," the authors wrote.
SOURCE: Journal of the American Medication Association, 2009;301:842-847