A meta-analysis of depression during pregnancy and the risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, and intrauterine growth restriction

Archives of General Psychiatry
Nancy K GroteWayne J Katon


Maternal depressive symptoms during pregnancy have been reported in some, but not all, studies to be associated with an increased risk of preterm birth (PTB), low birth weight (LBW), and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). To estimate the risk of PTB, LBW, and IUGR associated with antenatal depression. We searched for English-language and non-English-language articles via the MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Social Work Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts, and Dissertation Abstracts International databases (January 1980 through December 2009). We aimed to include prospective studies reporting data on antenatal depression and at least 1 adverse birth outcome: PTB (<37 weeks' gestation), LBW (<2500 g), or IUGR (<10th percentile for gestational age). Of 862 reviewed studies, 29 US-published and non-US-published studies met the selection criteria. Information was extracted on study characteristics, antenatal depression measurement, and other biopsychosocial risk factors and was reviewed twice to minimize error. Pooled relative risks (RRs) for the effect of antenatal depression on each birth outcome were calculated using random-effects methods. In studies of PTB, LBW, and IUGR that used a categorical depression measure, pooled effect...Continue Reading

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