Depression Creates Risk of Diabetes During Pregnancy | Loyola Medicine
Monday, March 30, 2015

History of depression puts women at risk for diabetes during pregnancy, study finds

Loyola research also points to prevalence of depression during pregnancy

MAYWOOD, Il., – A history of depression may put women at risk for developing diabetes during pregnancy, according to research published in the latest issue of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing by researchers from Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON). This study also pointed to how common depression is during pregnancy and the need for screening and education.

“Women with a history of depression should be aware of their risk for gestational diabetes during pregnancy and raise the issue with their doctor,” said Mary Byrn, PhD, RN, study co-author and assistant professor, MNSON. “Health-care providers also should know and understand the prevalence and symptoms of prenatal depression and gestational diabetes and screen and manage these women appropriately.”

Loyola researchers used the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Screen to measure symptoms of depression in 135 pregnant women attending routine prenatal care visits. Sixty-five study participants had gestational diabetes. These women were 3.79 times more likely to have a history of depression than women without gestational diabetes. In addition, 20 percent of women with gestational diabetes and 13 percent of women without gestational diabetes had significant symptoms of depression. Anxiety and perceived stress were significant predictive factors of depression for both groups.

Each year, more than 200,000 pregnancies are complicated by gestational diabetes. Pregnant women who have gestational diabetes and the added issue of depression are at an even greater risk for possible negative outcomes. Pregnant women who are depressed are more likely to practice unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, alcohol use and missing prenatal doctor visits.

The relationship between diabetes and depression is complex. Clinicians initially believed that depression in people with diabetes was due to the demands of living with a chronic illness. More contemporary thinking suggests that having depression may precipitate the onset of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, if depression is present prior to pregnancy, it may be important to monitor for the development of gestational diabetes.

“Depression may also contribute to the poor self-management of gestational diabetes and potentially increase the chance for complications during pregnancy,” said Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, study co-author and professor, MNSON. “We must further explore the relationship between diabetes and depression to help understand and improve prenatal care and outcomes for women and infants.”

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.