According to findings from a recent study published in the February 25th edition of the American Medical Association, pregnant women with diabetes are at an increased risk for depression. According to Bernard L Harlow, of the University of Minnesota, and colleagues, women with diabetes who are pregnant are at almost twice the risk for prenatal depression. The authors of the study, commenting, said, “Pregnancy and the postpartum period represent a time of increased vulnerability to depression… treatable, prenatal depression is underdiagnosed and it is important to target detection and support efforts toward women at high risk.” The following is an excerpt of an article from Medpage Today that reviews the study’s findings:
To assess the association during pregnancy and the postpartum period, they conducted a retrospective study of data from New Jersey’s Medicaid administrative claims database, looking at 11,024 women who gave birth between July 1, 2004, and Sept. 30, 2006.
They found that 15.2% of women with pre-pregnancy or gestational diabetes were diagnosed with depression or filled a prescription for an antidepressant during pregnancy or after delivery compared with only 8.5% of women who did not have diabetes.
In a multivariate analysis, women with diabetes had nearly double the odds of experiencing depression during the prenatal period (OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.45 to 2.36).
Among women who had no indication of depression during the prenatal period, those with diabetes had higher odds of postpartum depression (OR 1.69, 95% CI 1.27 to 2.23).
The researchers said this finding is “notable because women using state Medicaid services may be particularly vulnerable to postpartum depression due to higher rates of known risk factors.”
They said it suggests that Medicaid programs “may want to encourage healthcare providers to pay particular attention to managing the mental health concerns of women with diabetes during pregnancy and the postpartum period.”