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Eur J Nutr. 2017 Mar;56(2):901-908. doi: 10.1007/s00394-015-1140-6. Epub 2015 Dec 29.

The efficacy of early iron supplementation on postpartum depression, a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial.

Author information

1
Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Research Center, Vali-asr Hospital, Imam Khomeini Hospital Complexes, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Keshavarz Blvd, Tehran, 1419733141, Iran.
2
Breastfeeding Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
3
Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Research Center, Vali-asr Hospital, Imam Khomeini Hospital Complexes, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Keshavarz Blvd, Tehran, 1419733141, Iran. dr.med.tums@gmail.com.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Evaluating early iron supplementation in non-anemic mothers with postpartum depression (PPD).

METHODS:

This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluated 70 mothers with PPD. One week after delivery, the mothers were randomly allocated in the iron-treated (50 mg elemental iron/daily) and placebo-treated groups. After 6 weeks, the improvement of PPD symptoms was compared between the groups.

RESULTS:

Ferritin significantly increased in the iron-treated group (p < 0.001), but not in the placebo group (p = 0.09). After intervention, ferritin was higher in the iron-treated group (medians: 78.2 vs. 37 mg/dl, p = 0.01). The rate of iron deficiency significantly decreased in the iron-treated group (p = 0.009), but not in the placebo group (p = 0.4). After intervention, the rate of iron deficiency was higher in the placebo group (31.4 vs. 8.5 %, p = 0.01). The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) score significantly decreased in the iron-treated group (p < 0.001), but not in the placebo group (p = 0.13). After intervention, the EPDS score was lower in the iron-treated group (medians 9 vs. 12, p = 0.01). The improvement rate for PPD was significantly higher in the iron-treated group (42.8 vs. 20 %, p = 0.03). After intervention, mothers with continued PPD had lower ferritin than the improved mothers (41.8 vs. 67 mg/dl, p = 0.03). Mothers with continued depression had higher rate of iron deficiency compared to the improved mothers (27.1 vs. 4.5 %, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS:

Early iron supplementation in mothers with PPD significantly improves the iron stores and causes a significant improvement in PPD with a 42.8 % improvement rate during 6 weeks. Continued PPD might be related to the lower postpartum ferritin levels in untreated mothers.

KEYWORDS:

Anemia; Deficiency; Depressed; Ferritin; Postnatal

PMID:
26715522
DOI:
10.1007/s00394-015-1140-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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