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Obstet Gynecol. 2000 Apr;95(4):487-90.

Depression and anxiety in early pregnancy and risk for preeclampsia.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Central Hospital of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.



To examine whether depression and anxiety in early pregnancy are associated with preeclampsia in an unselected nulliparous population.


In this prospective population-based study during pregnancy at outpatient maternity clinics in the Helsinki metropolitan area, depression was assessed by a Finnish modification of the short form of the Beck Depression Inventory and anxiety by one established question. Preeclampsia was defined as elevated blood pressure (BP) (more than 140/100 mmHg) and proteinuria (0.3 g during 24 hours or more). Age, smoking, alcohol consumption, marital status, socioeconomic status, and bacterial vaginosis were analyzed as potentially confounding factors in a multiple logistic regression analysis.


Six hundred twenty-three consecutive nulliparous women with singleton pregnancies were studied at ten to 17 (median 12) weeks' gestation and at delivery. Of them, 28 (4.5%) women developed preeclampsia. Depression (mean Beck score 4.5, range 3-17) was observed in 185 (30%), women and anxiety was observed in 99 (16%) in early pregnancy. In multivariate analysis, after adjustment for potentially confounding factors, depression was associated with increased risk (odds ratio [OR] 2.5; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1, 5.4) for preeclampsia, as was anxiety (OR 3.2; 95% CI 1.4, 7.4). Either depression or anxiety, or both, were associated with increased risk (OR 3.1; 95% CI 1.4, 6.9) for preeclampsia. Bacterial vaginosis together with depression was associated with increased risk (OR 5.3; 95% CI 1.8, 15.0) for preeclampsia.


Depression and anxiety in early pregnancy are associated with risk for subsequent preeclampsia, a risk further increased by bacterial vaginosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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