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Prenatal depression may be becoming more common

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A study of 2,570 women in the UK, spanning two generations of mothers, has found that prenatal depression was more common among the younger generation. The older generation was pregnant during the 90s, when 17 per cent of the women reported depressive symptoms. Among the second generation of mums, pregnant between 2012 and 2016, depressive symptoms were reported by 25 per cent of women surveyed. The research also found that prenatal depression was more common among women whose mothers had also suffered prenatal depression.

Journal/conference: JAMA Network Open

Organisation/s: University of Bristol, UK

Funder: The UK Medical Research Council, theWellcome Trust, the University of Bristol, National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at the University Hospitals Bristol National Health Service Foundation Trust and the University of Bristol, the National Institutes of Health and the European Research Council.

Media Release

From: JAMA

Study Examines Prenatal Depression in 2 Generations of Pregnant Mothers

Prevalence of Prenatal Depression Symptoms Among 2 Generations of Pregnant Mothers

About JAMA Network Open: JAMA Network Open is the new online-only open access general medical journal from the JAMA Network. Every Friday, the journal publishes peer-reviewed clinical research and commentary in more than 40 medical and health subject areas. Every article is free online from the day of publication.

Bottom Line: A study of two generations of women in England examined how common depression during pregnancy (prenatal depression) is in young mothers now compared with their mothers’ generation. Depressed mood was measured using self-reported surveys in both generations and analysis of the data suggests depression in young pregnant women may be higher now than among their mothers’ generation in the 1990s. Researchers acknowledge a number of plausible explanations for their findings requiring further study.

Authors: Rebecca M. Pearson, Ph.D., of the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, and coauthors

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