Does exercise reduce depression risk during pregnancy?

  • Szegda K & al.
  • BMC Pregnancy Childbirth
  • 20 Jun 2018

  • curated by Elisabeth Aron, MD, MPH, FACOG
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Exercise during early pregnancy does not reduce risk for depressive symptoms in mid-to-late pregnancy in a high-risk Latina population.

Why this matters

  • Depressive disorders affect 18% of pregnant women.

Key results

  • 25.9% of cohort had elevated depressive symptoms.
  • Risk factors for depression included tobacco use (major depression P<.01 elevated bmi depression p and higher levels of parity>
  • After adjustment for confounders, exercise was not associated with decreased depressive symptoms in mid-to-late pregnancy in an at-risk population of Latina women.

Study design

  • Prospective cohort study conducted between 2006 and 2011.
  • Women were recruited to participate during early pregnancy (n=820).
  • Interviews were used to gather socioeconomic data, symptoms of depression, and physical activity.
  • Depression was diagnosed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS).
  • Depressive symptoms were categorized as "at least probable minor depression" (EPDS ≥13) vs "probable major depression" (EPDS ≥15).
  • Funding: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Limitations

  • No information on prepregnancy depressive symptoms.

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