These and other findings of the study may help to shed light on the relationship between depression and other pre- and perinatal PPD risk factors, the study authors said.
Michael Silverman, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and colleagues examined more than a dozen risk factors for PPD—such as gestational age at delivery, mode of delivery, and birth weight—and their association with PPD in women with and without a history of depression.
As they described Wednesday in the journal Depression and Anxiety, the researchers found that women with a history of depression were more than 20 times more likely to experience PPD than mothers without a previous clinical diagnosis of depression—a risk that was slightly increased if the mother also had pre-gestational diabetes or a preterm delivery (delivery at 32 to 36 weeks’ gestation).
Preterm delivery at 32 weeks’ gestation or earlier, instrument-assisted or cesarean delivery, and younger age (24 or younger) increased PPD risk in women without a history of depression. Giving birth after age 35 was associated with PPD risk in all women regardless of depression history.
“[F]or the first time, we show how maternal and obstetric risk factors for PPD may differ between new mothers with and without a history of depression,” the authors wrote. Based on the differences in risks they observed, the authors suggested that there may be different causal pathways of PPD in women with and without a history of depression
For related information, see the Psychiatric News article “Determining Onset Timing of Postpartum Depression May Lead to Improvements in Treatment.”