Anxiety, Depression Common During Pregnancy

Increase risk of postpartum depression

THURSDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Anxiety and depression are common during pregnancy and increase the risk of postpartum depression, according to a report in the November issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Antoinette M. Lee, Ph.D., from the University of Hong Kong, and colleagues assessed depression and anxiety in 357 pregnant women through questionnaires after the first trimester, second trimester, third trimester and six weeks postpartum.

The researchers found that 54 percent of women reported anxiety and 37.1 percent of women reported depression. Both were more prevalent and severe in the first and third trimesters, and both increased the risk of postpartum depression. The risk of anxiety increased during the pregnancy (adjusted odds ratio of 2.66, 3.65 and 3.84 in the first, second and third trimesters, respectively) while the risk of depression decreased during the pregnancy (adjusted odds ratio of 4.16, 3.35 and 2.67 in the first, second and third trimesters, respectively).

"Antenatal anxiety and depression are prevalent and serious problems with changing courses," Lee and colleagues conclude. "Identifying and treating these problems is important in preventing postpartum depression."

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