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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011 Jul;20(7):983-9. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2010.2662. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

Diabetes and depression in pregnancy: is there an association?

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Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.



Prior studies have reported inconsistent findings regarding the association of antenatal depression with pregnancy-related diabetes. This study examined the association of diabetes and antenatal depression.


We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a prospective cohort study of pregnant women receiving prenatal care at a single University of Washington Medical Center clinic between January 2004 and January 2009. The primary exposure was diabetes in pregnancy (no diabetes, preexisting diabetes, or gestational diabetes [GDM]). Antenatal depression was defined by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) score or current use of antidepressants. Antenatal depression was coded as (1) any depression (probable major or minor depression by PHQ-9 or current antidepressant use) and (2) major depression (probable major depression by PHQ-9 or current antidepressant use). Logistic regression was used to quantify the association between diabetes in pregnancy and antenatal depression.


The prevalences of preexisting diabetes, GDM, any antenatal depression, and major antenatal depression were 9%, 18%, 13.6%, and 9.8%, respectively. In the unadjusted analysis, women with preexisting diabetes had 54% higher odds of any antenatal depression compared to those without diabetes (odds ratio [OR] 1.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.08-2.21). After adjusting for important covariates the association was attenuated (OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.79-1.71). Results were similar for antenatal major depression. GDM was not associated with increased odds for any antenatal depression or antenatal major depression.


Neither preexisting diabetes nor GDM was independently associated with increased risk of antenatal depression.

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