Gestational diabetes may double the risk for postpartum depression


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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Mothers diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GD) may have an elevated risk of developing postpartum depression symptoms, according to a new Finnish study.

The research, to be published later this year in the Journal of Affective Disorders, analysed data from 1,066 women with no previous mental health issues who were enrolled in the Kuopio Birth Cohort (KuBiCo) study. GD was diagnosed according to the Finnish clinical care guidelines and depressive symptoms were assessed with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) during the third trimester of pregnancy and at eight weeks postpartum. A subgroup of women (n=505) also completed the EPDS during the first trimester of pregnancy.

The overall prevalence of GD and postpartum depression symptoms (PPDS) was 14.1 per cent and 10.3 per cent, respectively. GD was associated with an increased likelihood of PPDS (odds ratio [OR] 2.23; 95% CI 1.23-4.05), irrespective of depressive symptomatology during pregnancy. The association between GD and a higher risk of PPDS was significant when controlling for first-trimester depressive symptomatology.

The authors say further studies are needed to determine whether these women would benefit from closer follow-up and supportive interventions during pregnancy and the postpartum period to prevent PPDS.