Study: Postpartum depression risk jumps if mother’s family has mental health issues

0 19

Study: Postpartum depression risk jumps if mother's family has mental health issues

A mother’s risk of developing postpartum depression may rise sharply if her family has a history of any psychiatric disorder, a new study says. Photo by Pixabay

The risk of developing postpartum depression may be almost twice as high in mothers with a family history of any psychiatric disorder, compared with mothers without this background.

That’s according to a global meta-analysis of 26 studies from five continents involving more than 100,000 women, published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry.

Given that a family history of psychiatric disorders is a strong risk factor for postpartum depression, the Danish researchers said they anticipate such family histories will be identified by individuals’ self-reporting during routine care during their pregnancies.

And this might enable “timely and targeted” preventive interventions.

For example, researchers said, the next steps could focus on how and when to screen individuals for a family history of psychiatric disorders.

They noted it’s outside the scope of their analysis to investigate why a family history of psychiatric disorders is a risk factor for postpartum depression, “but it is most likely due to both genetic and environmental factors during upbringing and later in life.”

According to the researchers, inconsistent scientific evidence exists on whether a family history of psychiatric disorders and postpartum depression are linked. Some studies have identified familial risk for the condition, but other research, compiling all risk factors for postpartum depression, often has not.

The study specifically explored the risk of developing postpartum depression within a year after the baby’s birth.

The researchers estimated that 10% to 15% of new mothers experience the condition, a common complication of childbirth.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put the figure a bit lower, estimating that roughly 1 in 8 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression.

But the CDC notes that depression diagnoses at delivery are increasing at a rate that was seven times higher in 2015 than in 2000.

The CDC describes postpartum depression as being more intense and longer-lasting than the so-called “baby blues,” sometimes used to describe the worry, sadness and tiredness experienced by many women after having a baby.

For the new study, the investigators broadly defined family history of psychiatric disorders as “any psychiatric disorder among close and extended family members.”

They reviewed studies representing Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. A family history of psychiatric disorders was mostly assessed by using self-reported questionnaires, but also by clinical interviews.

The condition was evaluated from one to 52 weeks after childbirth, on average at 10 weeks’ postpartum.

Read More

Postpartum depression rates triple during COVID-19 pandemic

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.