History of Depression Could Increase Risk of Gestational Diabetes

Women who have a history of depression may be more prone to develop diabetes during pregnancy, according to a new study.

Researchers from Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON) stressed that because depression is common during pregnancy, the need for better diabetes screening in this population is pressing.

The study included 135 pregnant women, 65 of whom had gestational diabetes. After screening the women during prenatal care visits, researchers found that women with gestational diabetes were 3.79 times more likely to have a history of depression than women without gestational diabetes. In terms of their current mental health, 20 percent of women with gestational diabetes reported symptoms of depression compared with 13 percent of women without the condition.

"Women with a history of depression should be aware of their risk for gestational diabetes during pregnancy and raise the issue with their doctor," said study co-author Mary Byrn, PhD, RN.

Negative outcomes

According to a press statement on the study, pregnant women suffering from depression are more likely to have negative outcomes, such as alcohol use during pregnancy or missing doctor visits.

It isn't clear whether depression is a result of having diabetes or if depression could lead to the onset of gestational or type 2 diabetes.

However, the authors state that a history of depression should indicate a mother's need for close monitoring during pregnancy.

"Depression may also contribute to the poor self-management of gestational diabetes and potentially increase the chance for complications during pregnancy," said study co-author Sue Penckofer. "We must further explore the relationship between diabetes and depression to help understand and improve prenatal care and outcomes for women and infants."

The study is published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing.

Source: Newswise

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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