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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