HealthDay News — According to a study published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, there was a decrease in postpartum depressive symptoms (PDS) from 2004 to 2012.

Jean Ko, PhD, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues described self-reported PDS overall, by reporting state, and by selected sociodemographic factors using data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System for 2004, 2008 and 2012.

The researchers found that from 2004 to 2012 there was a decrease in the prevalence of PDS in 13 states with data for all three periods (14.8 to 9.8%; P<.01). 

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For eight states there were statistically significant decreases in PDS prevalence (P<.05), with no significant changes seen in five states. The overall prevalence of PDS was 11.5% for 27 states in 2012, ranging from 8% in Georgia to 20.1% in Arkansas.

Characteristics associated with highest PDS prevalence included new mothers aged ≤19 or 20 to 24 years, American Indian/Alaska Native or Asian/Pacific Islander race/ethnicity, ≤12 years of education, being unmarried, and postpartum smoking.

“Although the study did not investigate reasons for the decline, better recognition of risk factors for depression and improved screening and treatment before and during pregnancy, including increased use of antidepressants, might have contributed to the decline,” the authors write.


Ko JY, et al. “Trends in Postpartum Depressive Symptoms — 27 States, 2004, 2008, and 2012.” Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017;66:153–158. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6606a1

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