Depression and anxiety in women during pregnancy and neonatal outcome: data from the EDEN mother-child cohort

Early Hum Dev. 2012 Aug;88(8):643-9. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2012.01.014. Epub 2012 Feb 22.


Background: According to the World Health Organization, mental health disorders are the leading causes of disease burden in women from 15 to 44 years. These conditions in pregnant women may affect the offspring.

Aim: To analyze the relation between depression and anxiety of pregnant women and neonatal outcomes including gestational age and birthweight.

Study design: Observational cohort study.

Subjects: 2002 women recruited before the 20th gestational week.

Outcome measures: Gestational age at delivery in completed weeks of amenorrhea and preterm delivery defined as birth before 37 completed weeks of gestation. Spontaneous preterm birth (PB) defined as either spontaneous preterm labor or preterm premature rupture of the membranes. Medically indicated preterm delivery defined as delivery that begins by induction or cesarean section. Birthweight as a continuous variable and centiles of the customized fetal weight norms for the French population.

Results: From the 1719 women included in the study, 7.9% (n=135) were classified as "anxious", 11.8% (n=203) as "depressed", 13.2% (n=227) as "depressed and anxious". After adjusting for potential confounders, depression combined with anxiety during pregnancy increased the risk of spontaneous PB (Odds Ratio: 2.46 [1.22-4.94]), but did not influence medically indicated PB nor birthweight.

Conclusion: In this study, comorbidity of depressive and anxiety symptoms was the worst condition during pregnancy. Further studies are needed to investigate depression and anxiety together to improve the comprehension of the biological modifications involved.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Birth Weight*
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / psychology
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult