Summary: A new study reveals 16% of new mothers who suffered gestational diabetes while pregnant developed postnatal depression symptoms following birth. Only 9% of women who didn’t suffer GDM went on to develop PND. Researchers say gestational diabetes could be used as a biomarker for assessing PND risk following birth.
Source: University of Eastern Finland.
Mothers diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) have an elevated risk of developing postpartum depression symptoms, according to a new Finnish study.
Gestational diabetes mellitus refers to impaired glucose metabolism during pregnancy. Often, mothers with GDM have too high blood glucose levels, and this increases the risk of various adverse effects on the fetus. Moreover, GDM increases the mother’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Postpartum depression symptoms are experienced by 10-15 per cent of mothers after childbirth. The newly published study used the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale to assess depression symptoms during the third trimester of pregnancy and eight weeks after delivery.
Postpartum depression symptoms were observed in 16 per cent of mothers diagnosed with GDM, and in approximately nine per cent of mothers without GDM. The researchers used statistical methods to adjust the results for other factors contributing to the risk of GDM and postpartum depression symptoms, such as maternal age at delivery, body mass index and depression symptoms experienced during pregnancy. The findings were reported in Journal of Affective Disorders.
Conducted by the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Helsinki, Kuopio University Hospital and the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, the study pooled data from Kuopio Birth Cohort, which is an ongoing follow-up of women from the beginning of their pregnancy. Altogether, 1,066 mothers with no previous mental health issues were selected for the study.
“Psychological mechanisms may partially explain the observed association between GDM and postpartum depression symptoms,” says Doctoral Student Aleksi Ruohomäki, the first author of the study. “Being diagnosed during pregnancy with a disease that might harm the fetus can be a stressful experience, which may predispose to depression symptoms.”
“Furthermore, physiological mechanisms may also contribute to this association,” adds Dr Soili Lehto, Group Leader of Kuopio Birth Cohort’s mental well-being section. “Impaired glucose metabolism may increase cytokine mediated low-grade inflammation, which has also been associated with depression. Previous studies have also shown that type 2 diabetes predisposes to depression, and depression to type 2 diabetes”.
Research evidence is scarce regarding the possible effects of GDM on postpartum depression symptoms, and the new Finnish study is an important contribution to this emerging area of research.
About this neuroscience research article
Source: Aleksi Ruohomäki – University of Eastern Finland Publisher: Organized by NeuroscienceNews.com. Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain. Original Research:Abstract for “The association between gestational diabetes mellitus and postpartum depressive symptomatology: A prospective cohort study” by Aleksi Ruohomäki, Elena Toffol, Subina Upadhyaya, Leea Keski-Nisula, Juha Pekkanen, Jussi Lampi, Sari Voutilainen, Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen, Seppo Heinonen, Kirsti Kumpulainen, Markku Pasanen, and Soili M. Lehto in Journal of Affective Disorders. Published August 14 2018. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2018.08.070
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[cbtabs][cbtab title=”MLA”]University of Eastern Finland”Gestational Diabetes May Predispose Women to Postnatal Depression.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 5 September 2018. <https://neurosciencenews.com/gestational-diabetes-pnd-9801/>.[/cbtab][cbtab title=”APA”]University of Eastern Finland(2018, September 5). Gestational Diabetes May Predispose Women to Postnatal Depression. NeuroscienceNews. Retrieved September 5 2018 from https://neurosciencenews.com/gestational-diabetes-pnd-9801/[/cbtab][cbtab title=”Chicago”]University of Eastern Finland”Gestational Diabetes May Predispose Women to Postnatal Depression.” https://neurosciencenews.com/gestational-diabetes-pnd-9801/ (accessed September 5 2018).[/cbtab][/cbtabs]
The association between gestational diabetes mellitus and postpartum depressive symptomatology: A prospective cohort study
Background The literature suggests an association between type 2 diabetes mellitus and depression, but data on the association between gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and postpartum depressive symptomatology (PPDS) are scarce.
Methods Altogether, 1066 women with no previous mental health issues enrolled in the Kuopio Birth Cohort (KuBiCo, www.kubico.fi) were selected for this study. GDM was diagnosed according to the Finnish Current Care Guidelines. Depressive symptomatology was assessed with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) during the third trimester of pregnancy and eight weeks after delivery. Additionally, a subgroup of women (n = 505) also completed the EPDS during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Results The prevalence rates of GDM and PPDS in the whole study population were 14.1% and 10.3%, respectively. GDM was associated with an increased likelihood of belonging to the PPDS group (OR 2.23, 95% CI 1.23–4.05; adjusted for maternal age at delivery, BMI in the first trimester, smoking before pregnancy, relationship status, nulliparity, delivery by caesarean section, gestational age at delivery, neonatal intensive care unit admission and third-trimester EPDS scores). A significant association between GDM and PPDS was found in the subgroup of women with available data on first-trimester depression (n = 505).
Limitations The participation rate of the KuBiCo study was relatively low (37%).
Conclusions Women with GDM may be at increased risk of PPDS. Future studies should investigate whether these women would benefit from a closer follow-up and possible supportive interventions during pregnancy and the postpartum period to avoid PPDS.