Diabetes and Pregnancy: Links with Depression
University of South Carolina
Welcome to this month’s
Diabetes Care newsletter. Our topic is
diabetes linked to depression during and after pregnancy. Low income women with diabetes who are
pregnant or who recently gave birth face almost twice the risk of depression
compared to women without diabetes.
The study is reported in
the Journal of the American Medical Association. It didn’t matter whether the women developed
diabetes before or during pregnancy, or if they were taking insulin or oral
medications. The risk of depression was
still much stronger for them. Study lead
author Katie _____ says those women with diabetes have nearly twice the risk of
depression during pregnancy and postpartum.
She adds that women who had never been depressed before appeared to be
at risk too.
One in ten women who had
no indication of prior depression received a diagnosis of depression within a
year following delivery, says _____.
Although the study didn’t look at potential reasons for this link, there
are biological changes that occur with diabetes that might increase the risk of
depression. Also, the stress of managing
a chronic illness might contribute to the risk of depression.
affects about ten percent of new mothers usually between two and six months
after giving birth. If left untreated,
postpartum depression can affect the mother-child relationship as well as the child’s
development. Risk factors for postpartum
depression include: a history of
depression, troubled relationships, domestic violence, stressful life events,
financial problems, lack of social or emotional support, a difficult pregnancy
or delivery, and health problems with the baby.
To assess whether or not
diabetes is a factor in pre and postpartum depression, _____ reviewed data on
more than 11,000 women who gave birth between 2004 and 2006. All of the women were enrolled in Medicaid
during the study period. From this
low-income population, the researchers found that 15 percent of women with
diabetes developed depression during or after their pregnancy. In women without diabetes, that number was
nearly nine percent. In women who had
never been depressed before, almost ten percent of those with diabetes
developed depression, compared to six percent without of those without the
blood sugar condition.
_____ says healthcare
facilities need to be acutely aware of depression in women with diabetes during
the postpartum phase. She stresses that
diabetes and depression are both very treatable during this time. Dr. Robert Welch, a chairman of obstetrics
and gynecology, says a new diagnosis may be overwhelming for a lot of
women. He adds that, in a Medicaid
population, it can be more difficult to have diabetes well-monitored, which
could add to the stress these women are already feeling.
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