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For 1st Time Moms, Gestational Diabetes May Up Depression Risk

For First Time Moms, Gestational Diabetes May Up Depression Risk

Emerging research suggests that gestational diabetes raises the risk of postpartum depression (PPD) in first-time mothers.

In the largest study of its kind to date, including more than 700,000 women, researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden also established a strong link between a previous history of depression and PPD.

Their results appear online in the journal Depression and Anxiety.

Investigators discovered women with a history of depression are more than 20 times more likely to experience PPD than mothers without a previous clinical diagnosis of depression.

Moreover, while gestational diabetes alone increased risk for PPD, a history of maternal depression in conjunction with gestational diabetes further increased the likelihood of PPD.

“Most practitioners think of these as two isolated and very different conditions, but we now understand gestational diabetes and postpartum depression should be considered together,” said Michael E. Silverman, Ph.D., lead author of the study.

“While having diabetes increases PPD risk for all women, for those women who have had a past depressive episode, having diabetes during pregnancy makes it 70 percent more likely that they will develop PPD.”

In addition to gestational diabetes, the researchers studied more than a dozen other risk factors, including pre-gestational diabetes, for association with PPD in women with and without a history of depression.

Among women with a history of depression, pre-gestational diabetes, and mild preterm delivery increased risk. Young age, instrument-assisted or cesarean delivery, and moderate preterm delivery increased risk in women who had no history of depression.

Investigators believe that examining the modifying effect of maternal depression on pre- and perinatal PPD risk factors will further our knowledge of the relationship between diabetes and depression.

Showing that a history of depression modifies some of the risks associated with obstetric and perinatal factors suggests that there may be different causal pathways of PPD in women with and without a history of depression.

PPD can result in negative personal and child developmental outcomes, and identifying previous depressive episodes as a risk factor for PPD allows doctors to pursue earlier interventions.

“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,” Dr. Silverman said.

“With this information, we can now intervene early, before the mother gives birth.”

This is the largest population-based study to date to characterize PPD in relation to depression history.

Researchers used the nationwide Swedish Medical Birth Register, which includes information on all births in Sweden. Unlike in past studies, researchers relied on clinical diagnoses of PPD since symptom-based PPD inventories have a tendency to overestimate the prevalence of the condition.

Source: The Mount Sinai Hospital/EurekAlert

For First Time Moms, Gestational Diabetes May Up Depression Risk

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2017). For First Time Moms, Gestational Diabetes May Up Depression Risk. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 24, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2017/01/19/for-1st-time-moms-gestational-diabetes-increases-risk-of-depression/115339.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 19 Jan 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Jan 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.