Mar 30, 2009 | 11
All teens should be screened for depression, even if they don’t necessarily show signs of the blues, an influential government panel is recommending, noting that the majority of afflicted teens aren’t diagnosed or treated even though there are effective therapies.
Kids ages 12 to 18 should be routinely screened for the mood disorder with standardized depression tests by their pediatrician or family doctor, the U.S. Preventative Task Force said today. The panel's new recommendation—an update of its 2002 assessment, when it said there wasn't enough evidence to advise such screening—is set to be published in next month's Pediatrics.
Feb 2, 2009 | 1
Identifying women at risk for postpartum depression might be as easy as measuring hormone levels in the blood during pregnancy, suggests a study published today in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
"We found a hormone that is produced by the placenta during pregnancy that is a good predictor of postpartum depression," says lead author Ilona Yim, a psychologist at the University of California in Irvine. Using blood tests to measure this hormone might one day help doctors identify mothers-to-be at risk for postpartum depression (PPD).
Jan 28, 2009 | 12
The glut of antidepressant drugs on the market and the ads for them may have you – not to mention doctors – wondering how to tell one from the other. But a new study sheds light on which ones may be most effective in battling the blues.
Topping the list of a dozen prescription antidepressants reviewed: Zoloft and Lexapro. Patients taking those drugs in trials were also the least likely to drop out. But because Zoloft, made by New York-based Pfizer, is now off patent and available in relatively cheap, generic form, it may be the better choice for patients starting antidepressant therapy, write authors of the study published today in The Lancet, who are from Italy, Greece, England and Japan.
Dec 29, 2008 | 10
Parents' intolerance of their gay and lesbian teens increases the chance that they will suffer health problems in young adulthood, including increased risk of suicide, depression, drug abuse and unsafe sex, new research shows.
Those whose parents reacted negatively to their sexual orientation were more than eight times more likely to have attempted suicide than those whose families accepted them, according to a study in the January issue of Pediatrics. They were also nearly six times as likely to report depression, three times as likely to use drugs and three times as likely to have unprotected sex.
Nov 11, 2008 | 1
It's been only two months since the American Heart Association (AHA) recommended routine screening of cardiac patients for depression, and already those guidelines are being shot down.
Screening and treating heart patients for depression didn’t improve survival or cardiac health, according to a review of 17 studies published today in the JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association. In those who showed signs of depression, symptoms improved only slightly — by 1 to 4 percent — with antidepressant drug treatment.
"We cannot in good conscience support screening all heart patients," study co-author Roy Ziegelstein, vice chairman of medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, said in a statement. "This is a difficult call for us to make, but it is in the best interest of patients at this time" because of its cost, side effects of drug treatment and potentially negative effects of being misdiagnosed as depressed.
Oct 23, 2008
Pregnant women with symptoms of depression are twice as likely to deliver their babies early as those who don't show signs of sadness, new research shows.
The findings reflect two troubling trends: preterm delivery is the leading cause of infant illness and death in the U.S., and more than 40 percent of pregnant women report depressive symptoms, according to the study in today's Human Reproduction.
“It’s a severely under-diagnosed area frequently being dismissed just as having the blues of being pregnant,” says study author De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist in the division of research at Kaiser Permanente, a nationwide health insurer. “If just by controlling depression we can reduce preterm delivery, that will be very significant.”
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