Current address: Hermione Lovel, East of England Public Health Group, Department of Health, Cambridge CB2 2DF, UK
Association between antenatal depression and low birthweight in a developing country
Article first published online: 20 DEC 2006
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 115, Issue 6, pages 481–486, June 2007
How to Cite
Rahman, A., Bunn, J., Lovel, H. and Creed, F. (2007), Association between antenatal depression and low birthweight in a developing country. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 115: 481–486. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2006.00950.x
Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Creative Commons Deed, Attribution 2.5, which does not permit commercial exploitation
- Issue published online: 5 APR 2007
- Article first published online: 20 DEC 2006
- Accepted for publication November 1, 2006
- mental health;
- postpartum depression;
- child development;
- developing countries
Objective: There is a high prevalence of depression in south Asian women. We aimed to examine the association between antenatal depression and low birthweight (LBW) in infants in a rural community in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Method: A total of 143 physically healthy mothers with ICD-10 depression in the third trimester of pregnancy and 147 non-depressed mothers of similar gestation were followed from birth. Infant weight was measured and information collected on socioeconomic status, maternal body-mass index and sociodemographic factors.
Results: Infants of depressed mothers had lower birthweight (mean 2910 g) than infants of non-depressed mothers (mean 3022 g). The relative risk for LBW (≤2500 g) in infants of depressed mothers was 1.9 (95% CI 1.3–2.9). The association remained significant after adjustment for confounders by multivariate analyses.
Conclusion: Low birthweight is a major public health problem in developing countries. Maternal depression during pregnancy predicts LBW. Interventions aimed at maternal depression may help improve infant outcomes.