Past Psychiatric Conditions as Risk Factors for Postpartum Depression: A Nationwide Cohort Study

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Objective: To compare risk for postpartum depression across prior psychiatric diagnoses.

Methods: The deidentified Optum© Clinformatics Data Mart of national commercial insurance claims was used to identify 1,166,577 women of reproductive age with first-observed incidence of pregnancy across all 50 United States from 2003 to 2016. Women with insurance coverage for at least 6 months prior to conception and following delivery were eligible (n = 336,522). Psychiatric diagnoses prior to pregnancy were identified by ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM codes, including depression, anxiety and panic disorders, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and eating disorders. Primary outcomes included postpartum depression diagnosis at 2 months and 1 year after delivery. Multiple variable logistic regression analysis assessed for independent associations between predictors and outcomes.

Results: Among 336,522 pregnancies, 9.4% of women were diagnosed with postpartum depression (n = 31,610). Five percent of women with no depression history developed postpartum depression, compared to 65% of women with depression prior to and during pregnancy. Among women with history of depression who were euthymic during pregnancy, 20% were diagnosed with postpartum depression. A major risk factor was a history of depression (OR = 2.7; 95% CI, 2.6–2.8; P < .001), and depression in pregnancy was a risk factor for continued depression in the postpartum period (OR = 13.1; 95% CI, 12.6–13.6; P < .001). All other psychiatric conditions, including anxiety and panic disorders, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and eating disorders, conferred risk for postpartum depression, independent of a comorbid depression history.

Conclusions: We report that all psychiatric diagnoses investigated independently increase risk for postpartum depression and suggest that care providers inquire about psychiatric history to identify and closely monitor women at increased risk for postpartum depression.

J Clin Psychiatry 2020;81(1):19m12929

https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.19m12929