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Keywords:

  • ecological study;
  • maternal and child health;
  • population-based survey;
  • postpartum depression;
  • screening

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to verify that there are regional variations in the detection rate of postpartum depressive symptoms in mothers. A population-based survey of all women who gave birth in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City during the period 1 December 2008–31 October 2010 was carried out. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was completed by 2567 mothers of infants to measure postpartum depressive symptoms. The detection rate of postpartum depressive symptoms was compared between five localities. A significant difference was found between the lowest detection rate of postpartum depressive symptoms (8.4%) and the highest (18.1%; P < 0.001). A significant positive correlation was found between the proportion of houses in the locality receiving public assistance and the detection rate of postpartum depressive symptoms. The detection rate of postpartum depressive symptoms shows regional variations, suggesting a relationship with the poverty rate.