Maternal depression, adverse childhood experiences, and social support in relation to gestational diabetes risk: results from the Albany Infant and Mother Study (AIMS)

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2021 Apr 27;21(1):335. doi: 10.1186/s12884-021-03814-5.


Background: Psychosocial factors are of increasing interest as potential influencers in disease development. This study explores associations between gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and maternal depression, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and social support, in response to emerging evidence in these areas.

Methods: An observational, prospective cohort study (AIMS) served as the source of secondary data for this study. Participants included 300 pregnant women aged 18-40 years at an upstate New York prenatal care clinic, who completed a set of self-report questionnaires assessing exposures and stressors both during and prior to their pregnancy. Data were also abstracted from infant and maternal medical records.

Results: Logistic regression modeling estimated the odds ratios (ORs) of developing GDM in relation to psychosocial factors. There was a significant association between depression and GDM (OR = 2.85, 95% CI: 1.15, 7.06), which persisted in the model adjusted for age and BMI (aOR = 3.19, 95% CI: 1.25, 8.10). No significant associations were found between ACEs or social support with GDM.

Conclusions: Study findings support an association between maternal depression and GDM development. This study underscores the need for additional research on psychosocial factors and connections to health risks.

Keywords: Adverse childhood experiences; Depression; Gestational diabetes; Psychosocial factors; Social support.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences / psychology*
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology
  • Diabetes, Gestational / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • New York
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support*
  • Young Adult