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Diabetes increases postnatal depression risk

Expectant mums with diabetes have more than double the risk of postnatal depression, new study shows.
Women with diabetes are more likely to develop postnatal depression, a groundbreaking study has found.

Research carried out by experts at Harvard Medical School and the University Of Minnesota School Of Public Health, indicated that low-income mothers with diabetes have a 55 to 60 per cent increased risk of suffering from the postpartum condition.

According to the report, the higher risk of postnatal depression is similar for women being treated for diabetes before pregnancy and those who developed gestational diabetes.

"While previous studies have linked diabetes and depression in the general population, this is the first time, to our knowledge, that the relationship has been studied specifically in pregnant women and new mothers," said Harvard research fellow Katy Backes Kozhimannil.

Postnatal depression is estimated to affect around ten to 12 per cent of new mums, but in many cases, it often remains undiagnosed.

Once diagnosed, the serious condition can be treated with antidepressant medication and/or counseling support.

A report published earlier this month revealed that researchers from the University of California had found that a woman's risk of postnatal depression could be identified by testing her hormone levels during pregnancy.

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