Prepregancy Obesity Linked To Postpartum Depression


SAN DIEGO — Prepregnancy obesity is an independent risk factor for postpartum depression, a large analysis demonstrates.

“While I advocate that we should screen all women for depression, I think there are subsets of women whose risk is so high that we should either be identifying ways to prevent depression in this group or carry out early targeted surveillance and treatment,” Dr. D. Yvette LaCoursiere said in an interview during a poster session at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

“So if a woman comes to pregnancy with a BMI of greater than 35 kg/m

Research has shown that women with a history of depression are at increased risk of developing postpartum depression, but the possible association between prepregnancy obesity and postpartum depression has not been sufficiently studied, said Dr. LaCoursiere of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California at San Diego.

She and her associate, Dr. Michael W. Varner of the division of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, followed 1,053 women who were delivered of a term, singleton, live-born infant at one of four hospitals in Utah between 2005 and 2007. At intake, the researchers obtained demographic and anthropomorphic information and pregnancy stressors, in addition to a psychiatric, medical, and family history.

Self-reported prepregnancy body mass index was stratified by the World Health Organization classification system for underweight (less than 18.5 kg/m

At 6–8 weeks after delivery, subjects completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Postpartum depression was defined as a score of 12 or more.

He reported that the rate of postpartum depression was directly related to the extremes of BMI. For example, the rates of postpartum depression in the underweight, normal weight, and preobese groups were 18%, 14%, and 19%, respectively, while rates among those in the obese class I, class II, and class III groups were 19%, 32%, and 40%, respectively.

After the researchers controlled for demographic, psychological, medical, and obstetrical risk factors, the overall adjusted odds ratio of postpartum depression was 2.87 for obese class 2 women and 3.94 for obese class 3 women.

Dr. LaCoursiere reported that she had no conflicts to disclose.

A woman with a prepregnancy BMI of 35 kg/m

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