Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Diabetic pregnant women at risk for depression

Low-income pregnant women and new mothers with diabetes are nearly twice as likely as those without diabetes to be diagnosed with depression during and after pregnancy, new research indicates.

Depression during the last several months of pregnancy and the year following childbirth -- the so-called perinatal period -- affects at least 10 percent to 12 percent of new mothers, and approximately 2 percent to 9 percent of pregnancies are complicated by diabetes, the researchers note. Past research has established an association between diabetes and depression in the general adult population.

In the current study, Dr. Bernard L. Harlow, at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and colleagues examined the association between diabetes and depression in the perinatal period among approximately 11,000 low-income women enrolled in Medicaid who gave birth between 2004 and 2006.

They found that women with diabetes had nearly double the odds of having a diagnosis of depression or taking an antidepressant during the perinatal period compared with women without diabetes (15.2 percent versus 8.5 percent).


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