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Obes Sci Pract. 2016 Dec;2(4):415-425. doi: 10.1002/osp4.75. Epub 2016 Nov 9.

Depressive symptoms in women's midlife in relation to their body weight before, during and after childbearing years.

Author information

1
Institute of Clinical Research, Research Unit of Gynaecology and Obstetrics University of Southern Denmark Odense Denmark; Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics Odense University Hospital Odense Denmark; OPEN - Odense Patient data Explorative Network Odense University Hospital Odense Denmark.
2
Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Public Health University of Southern Denmark Odense Denmark.
3
Institute of Clinical Research, Research Unit of Gynaecology and Obstetrics University of Southern Denmark Odense Denmark.
4
Department of Public Health, Section for Epidemiology Aarhus University Aarhus Denmark.
5
Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research University of Copenhagen Copenhagen Denmark; Institute of Preventive Medicine Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospitals - Part of Copenhagen University Hospital Copenhagen Denmark; MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit Bristol University Bristol UK.
6
Institute of Clinical Research, Research Unit of Gynaecology and Obstetrics University of Southern Denmark Odense Denmark; Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics Odense University Hospital Odense Denmark.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study aimed to examine how weight and weight changes related to pregnancy were associated with depressive symptoms 11-16 years after childbirth.

METHOD:

We followed 16,998 first-time mothers from the Danish National Birth Cohort up till 16 years after birth and estimated associations between depressive symptoms and pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) (kg m-2), weight changes in different time periods, and BMI-adjusted waist circumference 7 years after birth (WCBMI, cm). Depressive symptoms were estimated by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression 10-item scale. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals.

RESULTS:

Compared with normal-weight, we found that underweight, overweight and obesity were associated with greater odds of depressive symptoms (1.29, 1.24 and 1.73, respectively). Compared with weight change ±1 BMI unit during the total follow-up period, greater odds for depressive symptoms were observed with weight loss (OR 1.14, 0.96-1.36) or gain of 2-2.99 kg m-2 (OR 1.11, 0.92-1.33) or gain of ≥3 kg m-2 (OR 1.68, 1.46-1.94). WCBMI > 2.2 cm was associated with greater odds of depressive symptoms (OR 1.16, 0.99-1.36) than waist circumference as predicted by BMI.

CONCLUSION:

Low and high pre-pregnancy BMI, weight changes and WCBMI larger than predicted were associated with more depressive symptoms in midlife.

KEYWORDS:

Body mass index; body‐weight changes; depressive symptoms; maternal health

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