Diabetic Pregnant Women More likely to Be Depressed

Friday, Feb 27, 2009  |  Updated 6:35 AM EDT
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Diabetic Pregnant Women More likely to Be Depressed

Getty Images/Dougal Waters

Women who have diabetes before becoming pregnant, or who develop the disease during pregnancy, are more likely to experience depression during pregnancy and after birth.

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Certain celebrity assertions aside (ahem, Tom Cruise), post-partum depression does exist and it is no laughing matter. More bad news is that women already suffering from diabetes may be more prone to the condition according to a recent study from Harvard Medical School.

Harvard’s Katy Backes Kozhimannil, MPA, also of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, studied low-income women to explore a link between diabetes and depression during and after pregnancy.

The Boston researchers found that, regardless of age or race, women with any form of diabetes were almost twice as likely to be clinically depressed than women without the disease. The study analyzed data from the perinatal period – usually the third trimester of pregnancy and the year following delivery.

According to the authors, “Pregnancy and the postpartum period represent a time of increased vulnerability to depression. Treatable, perinatal depression is underdiagnosed, and it is important to target detection and support efforts toward women at high risk.”

While previous studies have shown a link between diabetes and depression in adults in general, this study explored the specific instance of the tendency in pregnancy.

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