How well is depression in women being diagnosed and treated?

Credit: ©2012 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Major depression affects as many as 16% of reproductive-aged women in the U.S. Yet pregnant women have a higher rate of undiagnosed depression than nonpregnant women, according to a study published in Journal of Women's Health.

Jean Ko, PhD and coauthors from the (), Atlanta, GA, found that more than 1 in 10 18-44 years had a major depressive event during the previous year—representing about 1.2 million U.S. women—but more than half of those women did not receive a diagnosis of depression and nearly half did not receive any mental health treatment. The article "Depression and Treatment among U.S. Pregnant and Nonpregnant Women of Reproductive Age, 2005-2009," further reports that disparities in receiving a diagnosis and treatment were associated with younger age, belonging to a racial/ethnic minority, and insurance status.

The accompanying Editorial entitled "Depression: Is Pregnancy Protective?" by Jennifer Payne, MD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, explores the ongoing challenges in the adequate diagnosis and treatment of , the additional factors that come into play during pregnancy, and the implications of the Ko et al. study results.

"As health care providers, we simply must do a better job at diagnosing depression and referring women for mental health treatment. Reproductive health care visits provide an opportune time to address this ," says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women's Health.

More information: The article is available free on the Journal of Women's Health website at http://www.liebertpub.com/jwh.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Brains transform remote threats into anxiety

Nov 21, 2014

Modern life can feel defined by low-level anxiety swirling through society. Continual reports about terrorism and war. A struggle to stay on top of family finances and hold onto jobs. An onslaught of news ...

Mental disorders due to permanent stress

Nov 21, 2014

Activated through permanent stress, immune cells will have a damaging effect on and cause changes to the brain. This may result in mental disorders. The effects of permanent stress on the immune system are studied by the ...

Could there be a bright side to depression?

Nov 21, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—A group of researchers studying the roots of depression has developed a test that leads them closer to the idea that depression may actually be an adaptation meant to help people cope with ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.