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Obstet Gynecol. 2016 May;127(5):926-33. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001397.

Association of Antenatal Depression Symptoms and Antidepressant Treatment With Preterm Birth.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Center for Experimental Drugs and Diagnostics, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Center for Human Genetic Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.



To evaluate the association of antenatal depression symptoms with preterm birth and small for gestational age (SGA).


This was an observational cohort study conducted among women who completed Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale screening and delivered at 20 weeks of gestation or greater. The primary outcomes were preterm birth and an SGA neonate at birth (less than 10th percentile for gestational age); the primary predictor was an Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale antepartum score of 10 or greater, indicating symptoms of depression. Logistic regression models were used with and without consideration of antidepressant exposure during pregnancy.


Among 7,267 women, 831 (11%) screened positive for depression. In multivariable analyses adjusting for maternal age, race, income, body mass index, tobacco use, lifetime diagnosis of major depression and anxiety, diabetes, hypertension, and preeclampsia, women who screened positive for depression experienced an increased risk of preterm birth (less than 37 weeks of gestation) (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.27, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-1.55) and very preterm birth (less than 32 weeks of gestation) (adjusted OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.09-3.02) as well as of having an SGA neonate (adjusted OR 1.28, 95% CI 1.04-1.58). In secondary analyses, among women who were treated with an antidepressant during pregnancy (19% of those who screened positive and 5% of those who screened negative), depressive symptoms were not associated with a significantly increased risk of preterm and very preterm birth or an SGA neonate.


In a large cohort of women screened for depression antepartum, those with depressive symptoms had an increased likelihood of preterm and very preterm delivery as well having an SGA neonate. Such risk was not apparent among women who were treated with an antidepressant medication.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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