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

How poverty may affect memory

1 minute ago

Working memory, how we actively hold and manipulate information in our mind, is a cognitive skill used on a daily basis.  How effectively working memory performs, however, is not as universal as one may think.  In an open ...

How negative stereotyping affects older people

19 hours ago

The most comprehensive analysis to date of research on the effect of negative stereotypes on older people's abilities has concluded that these stereotypes create a significant problem for that demographic.

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.