Depressive symptoms and indicators of maternal health status during pregnancy.
OBJECTIVES: Depressive symptoms are common among women, especially those who are of childbearing age or are pregnant. Prior studies have suggested that an increased burden of depressive symptoms is associated with diminished health and functional status, but these studies were primarily of middle-aged and older adults. In the current study, we investigated the relationship between depressive symptoms and health and functional status among pregnant women. METHODS: Women were enrolled in the study at their first prenatal visit to hospital-based clinics and administered an interview that contained the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) to assess depressive symptoms and several questions to measure overall health status, limitations in performing moderate activities, and limitations in climbing stairs. RESULTS: The sample included 1163 women. Women with higher levels of depressive symptoms, using cutoff points on the CES-D of either > or =16 (clinically significant) or > or =23 (major depression), had approximately twice the risk of poorer self-reported health and functional status than those with lower scores after adjustment for age, marital status, smoking, education, insurance, trimester, and race. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that an increased burden of depressive symptoms during pregnancy is associated with diminished health status and may offer an explanation for the reported association between depressive symptoms and preterm birth.
Orr, ST; Blazer, DG; James, SA; Reiter, JP
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