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Depress Anxiety. 2017 Feb;34(2):137-146. doi: 10.1002/da.22599.

Association of peripartum synthetic oxytocin administration and depressive and anxiety disorders within the first postpartum year.

Author information

1
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.
2
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA, USA.
3
Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
4
Department of Information Technology - Research Computing, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.
5
Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA, USA.
6
Women's Mental Health Program, Departments of Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.
7
Departments of Psychiatry and Obstetrics & Gynecology, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and Zucker Hillside Hospital, Northwell Health, NY, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Due to its potent effects on social behavior, including maternal behavior, oxytocin has been identified as a potential mediator of postpartum depression and anxiety. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between peripartum synthetic oxytocin administration and the development of depressive and anxiety disorders within the first year postpartum. We hypothesized that women exposed to peripartum synthetic oxytocin would have a reduced risk of postpartum depressive and anxiety disorders compared with those without any exposure.

METHODS:

Population-based data available through the Massachusetts Integrated Clinical Academic Research Database (MiCARD) were used to retrospectively (2005-2014) examine this relationship and calculate the relative risk of peripartum synthetic oxytocin for the development of postpartum depressive and anxiety disorders in exposed (n = 9,684) compared to unexposed (n = 37,048) deliveries.

RESULTS:

Among deliveries to women with a history of prepregnancy depressive or anxiety disorder, exposure to peripartum oxytocin increased the risk of postpartum depressive or anxiety disorder by 36% (relative risk (RR): 1.36; 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.20-1.55). In deliveries to women with no history of prepregnancy depressive or anxiety disorder, exposure to peripartum oxytocin increased the risk of postpartum depressive or anxiety disorder by 32% compared to those not exposed (RR: 1.32; 95% CI: 1.23-1.42).

CONCLUSIONS:

Contrary to our hypothesis, results indicate that women with peripartum exposure to synthetic oxytocin had a higher relative risk of receiving a documented depressive or anxiety disorder diagnosis or antidepressant/anxiolytic prescription within the first year postpartum than women without synthetic oxytocin exposure.

KEYWORDS:

anxiety/anxiety disorders; biological markers; depression; maternal-child; pregnancy and postpartum

PMID:
28133901
PMCID:
PMC5310833
DOI:
10.1002/da.22599
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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