Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 9, pp 1599–1610

Rates and Predictors of Postpartum Depression by Race and Ethnicity: Results from the 2004 to 2007 New York City PRAMS Survey (Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System)



The objective of this study was to examine racial/ethnic disparities in the diagnosis of postpartum depression (PPD) by: (1) identifying predictors that account for prevalence rate differences across groups, and (2) comparing the strength of predictors across groups. 3,732 White, African American, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander women from the New York City area completed the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System from 2004 to 2007, a population-based survey that assessed sociodemographic risk factors, maternal stressors, psycho-education provided regarding depression, and prenatal and postpartum depression diagnoses. Sociodemographic and maternal stressors accounted for increased rates in PPD among Blacks and Hispanics compared to Whites, whereas Asian/Pacific Islander women were still 3.2 times more likely to receive a diagnosis after controlling for these variables. Asian/Pacific Islanders were more likely to receive a diagnosis after their providers talked to them about depressed mood, but were less likely than other groups to have had this conversation. Prenatal depression diagnoses increased the likelihood for PPD diagnoses for women across groups. Gestational diabetes decreased the likelihood for a PPD diagnosis for African Americans; a trend was observed in the association between having given birth to a female infant and increased rates of PPD diagnosis for Asian/Pacific Islanders and Whites. The risk factors that account for prevalence rate differences in postpartum diagnoses depend on the race/ethnic groups being compared. Prenatal depression is confirmed to be a major predictor for postpartum depression diagnosis for all groups studied; however, the associations between other postpartum depression risk factors and diagnosis vary by race/ethnic group.


Postpartum depression Health status disparities Asian Americans Prenatal depression Gestational diabetes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Child Development UnitUniversity of MassachusettsBostonUSA

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