News Flash > Women's Health


Diabetics More Likely to Be Depressed During, After Pregnancy

Reported February 25, 2009

(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 diabetes.



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