Gestational diabetes increases risk for postpartum depression

January 18, 2017

Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Karolinska Institutet have found that gestational diabetes raises the risk of postpartum depression (PPD) in first-time mothers. This is the largest study of its kind to date, including more than 700,000 women. The results were published online today in the journal Depression and Anxiety.

The researchers also established that with a of depression are more than 20 times more likely to experience PPD than mothers without a previous clinical diagnosis of depression. And while gestational diabetes alone increased risk for PPD, a history of 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 should be considered together," says Michael E. Silverman, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and 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- and mild preterm delivery increased risk. Young age, instrument-assisted or cesarean delivery, and moderate preterm delivery in women who had no history of depression.

Studying the modifying effect of maternal depression on pre- and perinatal PPD risk factors sheds new light on 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 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.

Explore further: History of depression puts women at risk for diabetes during pregnancy, study finds

Related Stories

History of depression puts women at risk for diabetes during pregnancy, study finds

March 31, 2015
A history of depression may put women at risk for developing diabetes during pregnancy, according to research published in the latest issue of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing by researchers from Loyola ...

Mortality risk in T2DM increased with depression and/or anxiety

January 16, 2017
(HealthDay)—For individuals with type 2 diabetes, anxiety symptoms affect mortality risk, independently of depression symptoms, and attenuate the excess mortality associated with depression, according to a study published ...

Easing labor pain may help reduce postpartum depression in some women, early research suggests

October 26, 2016
Epidural anesthesia may do more than relieve pain during labor; in some women it may decrease the likelihood of postpartum depression, suggests a preliminary study presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2016 annual meeting.

Research evaluates risk factors for postpartum depression in mothers of preterm infants

September 13, 2016
Postpartum depression is the most common complication of pregnancy and childbirth, affecting up to 15 percent of all women within the first three months following delivery. Research has shown that mothers of infants born ...

Oxytocin level in pregnancy predicts postpartum depression severity

March 23, 2016
Higher oxytocin levels in the third trimester of pregnancy predicts the severity of postpartum depression symptoms in women who previously suffered from depression, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study.

Recommended for you

Abusive avatars help schizophrenics fight 'voices': study

November 24, 2017
"You're rubbish. You're rubbish. You're a waste of space." The computer avatar pulls no punches as it lays into the young woman, a schizophrenia sufferer, facing the screen.

Ten-month-old infants determine the value of a goal from how hard someone works to achieve it

November 23, 2017
Babies as young as 10 months can assess how much someone values a particular goal by observing how hard they are willing to work to achieve it, according to a new study from MIT and Harvard University.

Domestic violence turns women off masculine men

November 23, 2017
Women who are afraid of violence within partnerships prefer more feminine men, according to new research carried out by scientists at the University of St Andrews.

Study finds infection and schizophrenia symptom link

November 22, 2017
If a mother's immune system is activated by infection during pregnancy, it could result in critical cognitive deficits linked to schizophrenia in her offspring, a University of Otago study has revealed.

Schizophrenia drug development may be 'de-risked' with new research tool

November 22, 2017
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) have identified biomarkers that can aid in the development of better treatments for schizophrenia.

Self-harm, suicide attempts climb among US girls, study says

November 21, 2017
Attempted suicides, drug overdoses, cutting and other types of self-injury have increased substantially in U.S. girls, a 15-year study of emergency room visits found.

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.