Postpartum Depression in Reproductive-Age Women With and Without Rheumatic Disease: A Population-Based Matched Cohort Study

J Rheumatol. 2023 Oct;50(10):1287-1295. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.2023-0105. Epub 2023 Jul 1.


Objective: To examine postpartum depression (PPD) among women with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in comparison with a matched population without rheumatic disease (RD).

Methods: A retrospective analysis using the 2013-2018 IBM MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters Database was conducted. Pregnant women with axSpA, PsA, or RA were identified, and the delivery date was used as the index date. We restricted the sample to women ≤ 55 years with continuous enrollment ≥ 6 months before date of last menstrual period and throughout pregnancy. Each patient was matched with 4 individuals without RD on: (1) maternal age at delivery, (2) prior history of depression, and (3) duration of depression before delivery. Cox frailty proportional hazards models estimated the crude and adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) and 95% CI of incident postpartum depression within 1 year among women with axSpA, PsA, or RA (axSpA/PsA/RA cohort) compared to the matched non-RD comparison group.

Results: Overall, 2667 women with axSpA, PsA, or RA and 10,668 patients without any RD were included. The median follow-up time in days was 256 (IQR 93-366) and 265 (IQR 99-366) for the axSpA/PsA/RA cohort and matched non-RD comparison group, respectively. Development of PPD was more common in the axSpA/PsA/RA cohort relative to the matched non-RD comparison group (axSpA/PsA/RA cohort: 17.2%; matched non-RD comparison group: 12.8%; aHR 1.22, 95% CI 1.09-1.36).

Conclusion: Postpartum depression is significantly higher in women of reproductive age with axSpA/PsA/RA when compared to those without RD.

Keywords: ankylosing spondylitis; depression; epidemiology; pregnancy; psoriatic arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Psoriatic* / epidemiology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / epidemiology
  • Axial Spondyloarthritis*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression, Postpartum* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spondylarthritis* / epidemiology