Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Diabetes Can Complicate Depression in Pregnant Women

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Diabetes Can Complicate Depression in Pregnant Women

Article excerpt

SAN DIEGO -- Women with diabetes and untreated depression who become pregnant face a host of risks to themselves and their fetus if their conditions are not managed properly, Laura J. Miller, M.D., warned at the annual scientific sessions of the American Diabetes Association.

These women face the risk of "decreased prenatal care, decreased ability to meet the nutritional demands of pregnancy--either because of eating too little in general or not eating healthy foods--and an increased risk of addictive substance abuse, which in turn can be teratogenic. Most notably, that includes alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. They both go up with untreated depression during pregnancy," said Dr. Miller, a psychiatrist who directs the women's mental health program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The potential effects on pregnancy outcome are "significantly bad" in the sense that untreated depression even in the absence of diabetes "increases low birth weight in offspring, increases the risk of premature birth, increases rates of preeclampsia, and increases neonatal irritability," Dr. Miller said.

"Even in the absence of other confounding factors, if you compare newborns just a few hours after birth, born to mothers with untreated depression during their pregnancy as opposed to other newborns, you'll find excessive crying, difficulty with sleep, fussiness, and difficulty being soothed."

Some of the ill effects of depression on diabetes could be related to the diabetes disease process itself, Dr. Miller said. For example, elevated cortisol is relatively common in depression and can affect blood glucose levels. Even so, she maintained that most of the effects of depression in women with diabetes appear to be due to decrements in diabetes self-care. "That's on every level: less adherence to diet and as a result, higher body mass index, less physical activity, more smoking, less self-monitoring of blood sugar levels, and less adherence to diabetic medication," she said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.