Perinatal depression is a common problem that affects about 18% of women worldwide, though the heterogeneity between countries is great. The aims of this study were to assess the prevalence of perinatal depressive symptoms in a national sample of women in Israel, and to investigate associations of these symptoms with demographic, medical and lifestyle factors.
The study included all members of Maccabi Health Services, the second largest health maintenance organization in Israel, who filled the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) during 2015–2016. Crude odds ratios (ORs) and adjusted ORs (aORs) are presented for associations of sociodemographic, medical and lifestyle factors with perinatal depressive symptoms, according to a score ≥ 10 on the EPDS.
Of 27,520 women who filled the EPDS, 1346 (4.9%) met the criteria for perinatal depression. In a logistic regression analysis we found the following factors associated with perinatal depression: the use of antidepressant medications (aOR = 2.34, 95% CI 1.94–2.82, P < 0.001 and aOR = 3.44; 95% CI 2.99–3.97, P < 0.001 for ≤3 months and > 3 months respectively), a diagnosis of chronic diabetes mellitus (aOR = 2.04; 95% CI 1.22–3.43, P = 0.007), Arab background (aOR = 2.28; 95% CI 1.82–2.86, P < 0.001), current and past smoking (aOR = 1.62; 95% CI 1.35–1.94, P < 0.001 and aOR = 1.36; 95% CI 1.05–1.76, P = 0.021, respectively), and anaemia (aOR = 1.17; 95% CI 1.04–1.32, P = 0.011). Orthodox Jewish affiliation and residence in the periphery of the country were associated with lower perinatal depression (aOR = 0.48; 95% CI 0.36–0.63, P < 0.001 and aOR = 0.72; 95% CI 0.57–0.92, P = 0.007, respectively).
The prevalence of perinatal depression in this study was 4.9%. Perinatal depression was associated with a number of demographic, medical and lifestyle factors, including the use of antidepressant medication, chronic diabetes mellitus, Arab background, current or past smoking, and anaemia. These risk factors may help identify women at risk of perinatal depression.