How well is depression in women being diagnosed and treated?

August 20, 2012
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.

Explore further: Racial and ethnic disparities in awareness of heart disease risk in women

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

Related Stories

Racial and ethnic disparities in awareness of heart disease risk in women

June 6, 2012
Awareness of the risks of heart disease and signs of a heart attack vary greatly among women of different racial and ethnic groups and ages. New data that clearly identify these disparities in heart health awareness are presented ...

Many poor pregnant women with HIV go untreated for depression

June 12, 2012
It seems logical that programs to screen and manage depression in pregnant, HIV-positive Medicaid patients should already be in place, but they aren't.

Stopping meds during pregnancy does not increase risk of depression

September 9, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Women who discontinue using antidepressants during pregnancy do not appear to have greater risk of having a depressive episode during and after term than those who continue using medications, a new Yale ...

Pre-Existing hypertension linked to depression in pregnant women

November 11, 2011
Women with a history of high blood pressure before getting pregnant have a higher risk of depression than women who develop pregnancy-related hypertension, according to a new study.

Pregnancy-related depression linked to eating disorders and abuse histories

June 16, 2011
One in 10 women experience depression during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth. Although the problem has received increased attention in recent years, little is known about the causes or early-warning signs of pregnancy-related ...

Recommended for you

Oxytocin turns up the volume of your social environment

September 20, 2017
Before you shop for the "cuddle" hormone oxytocin to relieve stress and enhance your social life, read this: a new study from the University of California, Davis, suggests that sometimes, blocking the action of oxytocin in ...

Self-control may not diminish throughout the day

September 20, 2017
After a long day of work and carefully watching what you eat, you might expect your self-control to slip a little by kicking back and cracking open a bag of potato chips.

Researchers develop new tool to assess individual's level of wisdom

September 20, 2017
Researchers at University of San Diego School of Medicine have developed a new tool called the San Diego Wisdom Scale (SD-WISE) to assess an individual's level of wisdom, based upon a conceptualization of wisdom as a trait ...

Alcohol use affects levels of cholesterol regulator through epigenetics

September 20, 2017
In an analysis of the epigenomes of people and mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the National Institutes of Health report that drinking alcohol may induce changes to a cholesterol-regulating gene.

One in four girls is depressed at age 14, new study reveals

September 20, 2017
New research shows a quarter of girls (24%) and one in 10 boys (9%) are depressed at age 14.

Tablets can teach kids to solve physical puzzles

September 20, 2017
Researchers confirm that when 4-6 year old children learn how to solve a puzzle using a touchscreen tablet, they can then apply this learning to the same puzzle in the physical world. This contradicts most previous research ...

0 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.