Depressive symptomatology during pregnancy: evidence for an association with decreased fetal growth in pregnancies of lower social class women

Health Psychol. 2000 Nov;19(6):535-43.


The relationship between depressive symptom scores on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D; L. S. Radloff, 1977) at each trimester of pregnancy and a decrement in either fetal growth or gestational duration was evaluated among 666 pregnant women. There was no association overall, but among 222 women from lower occupational status households, each unit increase on the CES-D at 28 weeks gestation was associated with a reduction of 9.1 g (95% confidence interval [CI] = -16.0, -2.3) in gestational-age-adjusted birth weight. When missing data were multiply imputed, the estimate was -4.6 g (95% CI = - 10.7, 1.5). CES-D score was unrelated to fetal growth or gestational duration in analyses among other potentially high-risk subgroups: smokers, women with a history of adverse outcome, and women with social vulnerabilities. These results raise the possibility that among lower status women, depressive mood may be associated with restricted fetal growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age*
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Pennsylvania / epidemiology
  • Poverty*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / psychology*
  • Pregnancy Trimesters
  • Prevalence
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Regression Analysis