, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 475-482
Date: 10 Aug 2013

Elevated risk of adverse obstetric outcomes in pregnant women with depression

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In this study, we evaluated the association between prenatal depression symptoms adverse birth outcomes in African–American women. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 261 pregnant African–American women who were screened with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at their initial prenatal visit. Medical records were reviewed to assess pregnancy and neonatal outcomes, specifically preeclampsia, preterm birth, intrauterine growth retardation, and low birth weight. Using multivariable logistic regression models, an EPDS score ≥10 was associated with increased risk for preeclampsia, preterm birth, and low birth weight. An EPDS score ≥10 was associated with increased risk for intrauterine growth retardation, but after controlling for behavioral risk factors, this association was no longer significant. Patients who screen positive for depression symptoms during pregnancy are at increased risk for multiple adverse birth outcomes. In a positive, patient-rated depression screening at the initial obstetrics visit, depression is associated with increased risk for multiple adverse birth outcomes. Given the retrospective study design and small sample size, these findings should be confirmed in a prospective cohort study.

This research was support by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (K23 MH092399-03; DRK) and (P50 MH099910; DRK, CNE, MDS) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (K24 DA030301; CNE).