Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pre-pregnancy Depressed Mood May Heighten Risk For Premature Birth

Date:
June 14, 2009
Source:
University of Washington
Summary:
Researchers trying to uncover why premature birth is a growing problem in the United States and one that disproportionately affects black women have found that pre-pregnancy depressive mood appears to be a risk factor in preterm birth among both blacks and whites.

Researchers trying to uncover why premature birth is a growing problem in the United States and one that disproportionately affects black women have found that pre-pregnancy depressive mood appears to be a risk factor in preterm birth among both blacks and whites.

Related Articles


Black women, however, have nearly two times the odds of having a preterm birth compared to white women, according to Amelia Gavin, a University of Washington assistant professor of social work and lead author of a new study that appears online in the June issue of the Journal of Women's Health.

"Preterm births are one of the most significant health disparities in the United States and the overall number of these births increased from 10.6 percent in 2000 to 12.8 percent in 2005," she said.

While there appears to be some sort of link between giving birth prematurely and depressed mood, the study found no cause and effect, said Gavin, who studies health disparities. She believes the higher preterm birth rate among blacks may be the result of declining health over time among black women.

For this study, premature birth referred to any child born after less than 37 weeks of gestation. Normal gestation ranges from 38 to 42 weeks. Data for the study was drawn from a larger longitudinal investigation looking at the risks for cardiovascular disease among more than 5,000 young adults in four metropolitan areas. The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study also collected information about mental health and pregnancy outcomes. Between 1990 and 1996, 555 women in the larger study gave birth. These women were the subjects in the depression-premature birth study.

"At this point we can't say that pre-pregnancy depressive mood is a cause of preterm birth or how race effects this association," said Gavin. "But it seems to be a risk factor in giving birth prematurely and higher pre-pregnancy depressive mood among black women compared to white women may indirectly contribute to the greater odds of preterm birth found among black women."

In the study 18.1 percent of the black women had a preterm birth compared to 8.5 percent of the white women.

This difference may be the result of what she calls "weathering," or accelerated declines in health due to repeated socioeconomic and political factors.

"What some people experience by being black takes a toll on the physiological system, and over time wear and tear that occurs across neural, neuroendocrine and immune systems as a result of chronic exposure to stressors lead to health disparities for blacks. Some of this may manifest itself in premature birth and low-birth weight," Gavin said.

The study did not look at depressive mood or depression during pregnancy because the larger research project did not collect that data. She hopes to replicate and expand her findings by analyzing data from another study to look at depressive mood prior to pregnancy and childhood poverty to see if those two factors in part explain the black and white difference in preterm delivery. That study also will look at the role antidepressive medication plays in preterm birth.

"My ultimate goal is to incorporate a life course health development framework to examine disparities in birth outcomes," she said. "You have to look at the context of health across the life course of a woman, not just during pregnancy."

The consequences of higher preterm delivery are a growing burden on the health care system and parents. Studies have shown that preterm babies have higher morbidity rates and U.S. preterm birth rates are creeping up with no good explanation. In the U.S. the population at greatest risk for major depression is women of childbearing age and the onset and course of depression are often intertwined with reproductive events. A recent national study reported that 8.4 percent of pregnant women in the past year experienced major depression and only slightly more than 14 percent of those women sought treatment for any mood disorder.

Co-authors of the study are David Chae of Emory University, Sarah Mustillo of Purdue University, and Dr. Catarina Kiefe of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The National Center for Research Resources and the Roadmap for Medical Research, both components of the National Institutes of Health, funded the research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Washington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Washington. "Pre-pregnancy Depressed Mood May Heighten Risk For Premature Birth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610133555.htm>.
University of Washington. (2009, June 14). Pre-pregnancy Depressed Mood May Heighten Risk For Premature Birth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610133555.htm
University of Washington. "Pre-pregnancy Depressed Mood May Heighten Risk For Premature Birth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610133555.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins