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Risk factors associated with postpartum depression in the Saudi population

Authors Alharbi A, Abdulghani H

Received 14 November 2013

Accepted for publication 9 January 2014

Published 17 February 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 311—316

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S57556

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5


Abeer A Alharbi,1 Hamza Mohammad Abdulghani2

1Department of Family and Community Medicine, 2Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Introduction: Postpartum depression (PPD) is one of the major psychological disorders worldwide that affects both mother and child. The aim of this study was to correlate the risk of PPD with obstetric and demographic variables in Saudi females.
Materials and methods: Data were collected by interviewing females 8–12 weeks postpartum. PPD symptoms were defined as present when subjects had an Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale score of 10 or higher. Variables included in this study were age, education, occupation, parity, baby's sex, pregnancy period, delivery type, hemoglobin level, anemia, and iron pills taken during pregnancy.
Results: Of the 352 postpartum females, the prevalence of PPD symptom risk was 117 (33.2%). Among the PPD symptomatic females, 66 (39.8%) had low hemoglobin levels, and 45 (40.5%) females were anemic during pregnancy (P≤0.05). These results suggest that early postpartum anemia, indicated by low hemoglobin level, is a significant risk factor for PPD (adjusted odds ratio 1.70, 95% confidence interval 1.05–2.74; P=0.03). Other variables, including age, parity, education, occupation, and delivery type, were not significantly correlated (P=0.15–0.95), but marginally indicative of the risk of depressive symptoms.
Conclusion: Low hemoglobin level and anemia during pregnancy were risk factors for PPD in Saudi females. Many other factors may be considered risk factors, such as age, occupation, and parity. Anemic women need more attention and to be checked regarding their PPD, and treated if necessary.

Keywords: postpartum depression, hemoglobin level, anemia, EPDS

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