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Original Research

Childhood Trauma and Perinatal Depression: Data From the IGEDEPP Cohort

Sarah Tebeka, MD, PhDa,b,*; Yann Le Strat, MD, PhDa,b; Bruno Etain, MD, PhDc,d; Margaux Rayb; Jimmy Mullaert, MD, PhDe,f; and Caroline Dubertret, MD, PhDa,b; for the IGEDEPP Study Groupg

Published: September 7, 2021


Background: Childhood trauma (CT) is associated with an increased risk of major depressive disorder, but little is known about the impact of CT on depression during pregnancy and the early and late postpartum period. The present study assesses whether CT is associated with perinatal depression, considering different types of CT.

Methods: This study used data from the Interaction of Gene and Environment of Depression in PostPartum (IGEDEPP), a French multicenter prospective cohort study, including 3,252 women who completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire at the maternity department between November 2011 and June 2016. Depression during pregnancy was assessed retrospectively at the maternity department using DSM-5 criteria. Early- and late-onset postpartum depression were assessed at 2 months and 1 year postpartum, respectively.

Results: Among the 3,252 women, 298 (9.2%) reported at least 1 CT. Women with CT had a higher risk of depression (OR = 2.2; 95% CI, 1.7–2.7), anxiety (OR = 2.3; 95% CI, 1.7–3.0), and suicide attempts (OR = 5.4; 95% CI, 3.5–8.4) than women without CT. Perinatal depression was more frequent in women with CT than in women without CT, after adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics and personal history of major depressive episode and consideration of the timing of onset (pregnancy, early or late postpartum) (P < .001). There was a dose effect between the number of CT types and the risk of perinatal depression.

Conclusions: These results show that CT is associated with a depressive episode during adulthood, specifically in the perinatal period. These findings may lead to special prenatal care for women abused or neglected during childhood, to better screen and treat perinatal depression.

Trial registration: identifier: NCT01648816


Volume: 82

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