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Depression Common Before, During, and After Pregnancy

(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - MedPage Today Action Points

o Explain to interested patients that the lifetime risk of depression is about 10%, but women are known to have slightly higher risk than men. This study suggests that the risk of depression is not mitigated by pregnancy.

o Point out that this study supports the position that women considering pregnancy as well as pregnant women and postpartum women should be screened for depressive symptoms.

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 28 -- About one in seven women were depressed before, during, or after childbirth, according to a study of more than 4,300 women enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente HMO.

During the nine months before pregnancy, 8.7% of the women were diagnosed with depression, versus 6.7% of women who were treated for depression during pregnancy, and 10.4%, who had postpartum depression, said Evelyn Whitlock, M.D., M.P.H., of Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, a co-author of the study in the October issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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