pregnancy depressionResearchers from the Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Children’s Hospital have published a study in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research. The study focused on a possible link between maternal depression, inflammation and pregnancy complications.

Blood work from 100 women diagnosed with depression based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders were compared with a computer-generated control group. The control group records were selected from women with no depression diagnosis and similar maternal characteristics. The research group was slightly older than the control group (34 v 33) and exhibited lower BMI (27 v 29). Two inflammation markers – interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha, were measured.

Conclusion: Researchers found higher levels of the inflammatory markers in depressed women compared to the control group. Inflammation may be the link between depression and adverse effects associated with depression during pregnancy.

Source: Haeri S, Baker AM, Ruano R. Do pregnant women with depression have a pro-inflammatory profile? J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2013 Mar 20. doi: 10.1111/jog.12017.