HealthDay News — Women with depression are more than three times more likely to use cannabis during pregnancy compared with women without depression, according to a study published online March 3 in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Renee D. Goodwin, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the City University of New York in New York City, and colleagues used data from the 2005 to 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (participants were ≥12 years) to assess the prevalence of past-30-day cannabis use by depression status and by sociodemographic factors as well as the perception of risk associated with cannabis use among pregnant women.

The researchers found that cannabis use was significantly more common among pregnant women with depression versus those without (12.7 versus 3.7 percent; odds ratio, 3.8). Findings were similar across all sociodemographic subgroups. Among those who perceived moderate-great risk with regular use, the relationship between depression and cannabis use was significantly stronger (odds ratio, 6.9) versus those perceiving no risk (odds ratio, 1.6).

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“Education about risks associated with cannabis use in pregnancy and prevention, akin to those for prenatal tobacco use, may be needed among pregnant women who are depressed to stem this increase and potentially growing disparity,” the authors write.

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