Women with high blood pressure before pregnancy are at an increased risk of developing depression than those who develop pregnancy-related hypertension, finds a new study.
"Depression during pregnancy is associated with postpartum depression, problems bonding with the baby, and overall, has a large and detrimental impact on both mom and baby," said lead author Wayne Katon, M.D., of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Washington.
The study looked at 2,398 women receiving prenatal care at an obstetrics clinic in Seattle, Washington, evaluating them for depressive symptoms and evidence of pre-existing hypertension or pregnancy-induced hypertension.
Previous research had suggested there might be a link between depression and pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia. However, Katon's research found no link.
Instead, they found that women with hypertension before pregnancy, with or without developing preeclampsia, were 55 to 65 percent more likely to meet the criteria for significant depressive symptoms or to be taking antidepressants.
Many women who have high blood pressure prior to pregnancy also have other risk factors, including health conditions such as diabetes and obesity, noted Katon.
"Depression can make adherence to interventions, such as diet, exercise and medication, for these conditions low, further putting the mother's health at risk," he stated.
The study appeared in General Health Psychiatry.