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Diabetes May Be A Risk Factor For Postpartum Depression

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 11:18 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Postpartum Depression, Pregnancy, Depression, Diabetes

Diabetes may double the risk of postpartum depression in pregnant women

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IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons/ pregnancy 34 weeks/ author: Inferis 

 

Researchers from Harvard find pregnant woman and new mothers with diabetes are twice as likely to become depressed after delivering the baby.

This is the first study that looks at diabetes and its impact on pregnancy, delivery, and babies. 

Harvard researchers looked at the data from more than 11,000 pregnant women. They were all part of the New Jersey Medicaid program from July 2004 to September 2006 and the women were either pregnant or had delivered a baby within the year. All of the women had incomes just slightly above the federal poverty limit of $24,000 for a family of four in 2006.  

“What our study found is pregnant women and new mothers with diabetes have nearly double the chance of experiencing postpartum depression compared with those without diabetes," says said Katy Backes Kozhimannil of Harvard Medical School to ABC News

Among women who gave birth with diabetes, more than 15 percent were depressed during pregnancy or postpartum. Among women without diabetes, 8.5 percent experienced depression.

The research appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)

Diabetes may be a new risk factor for postpartum depression, giving doctors more ability to identify women at risk. Postpartum depression can lead to suicide or harm to the baby. 

Also leading to postpartum depression is a lack of social support, a stressful pregnancy, and low self-esteem.  Perinatal depression affects up to 12 percent of new mothers. Diabetes is a complicating health factor in up to nine percent of pregnancies.

A study last June in JAMA finds those diagnosed with diabetes have a more than 50 percent risk of also being depressed.  People not treating their diabetic symptoms were less likely to experience depression. 

A University of California, Irvine looked at a likely cause of depression in pregnancy.

Published in the Archives of General Psychiatry this month, researchers found that an increased level of corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), targets women at risk for developing depression.  

The hormone is produced by the placenta and regulates many other hormones.  #


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