Prenatal Depression in Latinas in the U.S. and Mexico

Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente, Calzada México-Xochimilco 101. San Lorenzo Huipulco, Tlalpan, Mexico, DF 14370, Mexico.
Maternal and Child Health Journal (Impact Factor: 2.24). 06/2008; 13(4):567-76. DOI: 10.1007/s10995-008-0379-4
Source: PubMed


The study aimed to investigate the prevalence of depressive symptoms and their associated risk factors during pregnancy in Latinas in the United States (U.S.) and Mexico.
The sample included 108 women in the U.S. whose data were obtained from medical chart reviews in a community clinic in Washington, D.C., and 117 women in Mexico who participated in face-to-face interviews in the waiting rooms of primary care community centers in Mexico City. Variables, chosen to match in both countries for comparisons, were: socio-demographics, pregnancy gestation and order, social support, depressive symptoms, personal history of depression, family psychiatric history, and suicidal thoughts. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D).
The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 32.4% for pregnant Latinas and 36.8% for Mexicans (CES-D > or = 16), and 15.7% and 23.9% (CES-D > or = 24), respectively, with no differences between groups. Separate multiple logistic regression analyses showed that for U.S. Latinas: (1) being more educated predicted depressive symptoms (CES-D > or = 16), and (2) second trimester, as compared to first, also predicted symptoms (CES-D > or /= 24). (3) History of suicidal thoughts predicted symptoms in Latinas in the U.S. (CES-D > or = 24) and in Mexico (using both definitions of high symptoms), and (4) living with a partner but not formally married and multi-parous condition predicted symptoms (CES-D > or /= 24) among pregnant Mexicans.
A high prevalence of depressive symptoms and significant risk factors during pregnancy were found in Latinas in U.S. and Mexico, suggesting increased risk for postpartum major depression. Implications for screening and interventions are discussed.

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    • "The rates of depressive symptomatology reported from this study are congruent with the literature on the prevalence of depression in Hispanic women (Davila and McFall 2009; Lara et al. 2009). The findings reported from this study are also consistent with higher depressive symptoms during pregnancy (Zayas et al. 2003). "
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    • "Most studies conducted in the U.S. on depression among pregnant Latinas have focused on Mexican Americans(Davila et al., 2009, Lara et al., 2009), with only a few focusing on other Latina subgroups(Zayas et al., 2002, Zayas et al., August 2003), and none of them comparing Latina subgroups among pregnant women. Our findings that Puerto Rican Latinas tended to be more likely to experience elevated levels of depressive symptoms compared to non-Puerto Rican Latinas deserves discussion due to the effect size of the association and the unique nature of the results. "
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