Depression common before, during and after pregnancy
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 22, 2007
One in seven women are depressed before becoming pregnant, while with child or after giving birth, and this illness tends to recur, according to a study published in the October American Journal of Psychiatry.
Kaiser Permanente researchers reviewed the medical records of 4,398 women who had given birth and been continuously enrolled in the HMO from 1998 to 2001.
Just over 15% were depressed at some point, with the risk being highest in the postpartum period. Among those who were depressed before becoming pregnant, more than 56% were ill during the pregnancy.
"We need to manage depression as a chronic condition in women of childbearing age, rather than assume depression is a temporary condition that can be either triggered or relieved by getting pregnant or giving birth," said Evelyn Whitlock, MD, MPH, one of the authors and a senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2007/10/22/hlbf1022.htm.