Obstetricians Should Screen Pregnant Mothers for Depression History

HealthDay News — Gestational diabetes mellitus may increase a first-time mother’s risk of postpartum depression, and a history of maternal depression along with GDM further increases that risk, according to a study published in Depression and Anxiety.

The analysis of data from more than 700,000 women in Sweden showed that GDM alone raised the risk for postpartum depression. However, that risk rose even more if a woman had previously been diagnosed with depression.

Among women with a history of depression, diabetes before pregnancy and giving birth prematurely at 32 to 36 weeks were both associated with higher risk. Among women with no history of depression, giving birth at a young age, having an instrument-assisted or cesarean delivery, and giving birth before 32 weeks were tied to an increased risk.

“The reason a doctor asks if you smoke is because they know you are 20 times more likely to get cancer if you do. We believe ob-gyns should now do the same for depression history,” lead author Michael Silverman, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, said. “With this information, we can now intervene early, before the mother gives birth.”

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Michael E. Silverman ME, Reichenberg A, Savitz DA, Cnattingius S, et al. The risk factors for postpartum depression: A population-based study. Depression and Anxiety. 2017; doi: 10.1002/da.22597