Diabetes and depression in pregnancy: is there an association?

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011 Jul;20(7):983-9. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2010.2662. Epub 2011 Jun 13.


Background: Prior studies have reported inconsistent findings regarding the association of antenatal depression with pregnancy-related diabetes. This study examined the association of diabetes and antenatal depression.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a prospective cohort study of pregnant women receiving prenatal care at a single University of Washington Medical Center clinic between January 2004 and January 2009. The primary exposure was diabetes in pregnancy (no diabetes, preexisting diabetes, or gestational diabetes [GDM]). Antenatal depression was defined by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) score or current use of antidepressants. Antenatal depression was coded as (1) any depression (probable major or minor depression by PHQ-9 or current antidepressant use) and (2) major depression (probable major depression by PHQ-9 or current antidepressant use). Logistic regression was used to quantify the association between diabetes in pregnancy and antenatal depression.

Results: The prevalences of preexisting diabetes, GDM, any antenatal depression, and major antenatal depression were 9%, 18%, 13.6%, and 9.8%, respectively. In the unadjusted analysis, women with preexisting diabetes had 54% higher odds of any antenatal depression compared to those without diabetes (odds ratio [OR] 1.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.08-2.21). After adjusting for important covariates the association was attenuated (OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.79-1.71). Results were similar for antenatal major depression. GDM was not associated with increased odds for any antenatal depression or antenatal major depression.

Conclusions: Neither preexisting diabetes nor GDM was independently associated with increased risk of antenatal depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / psychology
  • Prenatal Care / methods
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Women's Health*
  • Young Adult