Depression in postpartum and non-postpartum women: prevalence and risk factors

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2002 Dec;106(6):426-33. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0447.2002.02408.x.


Objective: The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of depression in postpartum women as compared with non-postpartum women, and to identify risk factors of depression in both groups.

Method: A population based questionnaire study was performed among women 18-40 years in two municipalities in Norway in 1998-1999. A total of 2,730 women were included, of whom 416 were in the postpartum period.

Results: The prevalence of depression was higher in non-postpartum as compared with postpartum women. High scores on the life event scale, a history of depression and a poor relationship to the partner were associated with depression in both postpartum and non-postpartum women. When controlling for the identified risk factors of depression the odds-ratio for depression in the postpartum period was 1.6 (95% CI: 1.0-2.6).

Conclusion: The risk for depression was increased in the postpartum period, when controlling for the uneven distribution of risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis
  • Depression, Postpartum / epidemiology*
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Concept
  • Social Support
  • Women's Health*