Connection between perinatal depression & risk of suicide

Connection between perinatal depression & risk of suicide

Connection between perinatal depression & risk of suicide

According to the recent Swedish research, depression that arises during the time of pregnancy drastically and consistently increases a woman’s chance of suicide. The study explored that the likelihood of suicide for a new mother climbs seven times in the year after receiving a diagnosis of perinatal depression, or the depression that develops before, during, or after pregnancy. This study was published the JAMA Network Open on January 09, 2024.

What does the study convey?

Many women who suffer from perinatal depression (PND) have suicidal thoughts. Fortunately, there is a lack of prospective information about the risk of suicidal behavior (i.e., attempting suicide or completed) among women with the perinatal depression, especially the long-term risk or threats. The main objective the research is to investigate the relationship among PND and the risk of both short and long-term suicidal behavior.

Also Read: Understanding and Preventing Perinatal Depression

PND was detected by diagnosing depression or by filling antidepressant prescriptions from the time of pregnancy to a year after the birth of new born in registrations. With time-to-event analysis, suicide behavior’s hazard ratios (HR) were calculated.

PND & Maternal Suicide

Maternal suicide ranks as the second most prevalent reason for death in the postpartum period and it is concerned for public health. A variety of dynamically interacting risk variables like a history of mental illnesses, socioeconomic inequality as well as limited access to medical treatment are associated with maternal suicides. To reduce the rate of maternal suicides. It is critical to recognize high-risk groups.

Research has demonstrated that PND and suicidality frequently coexist. However, having thoughts of suicide is really a component of the standard PND screening process. New research showed that people with PND are a diverse or heterogeneous bunch. Depression during prenatal and postnatal, both are caused by the different symptoms and causes clusters. Analyzing Sweden’s national registered data for a population-based matched cohort and then comparing it to sibling suicides; researchers investigated the relationship among PND and suicidal behavior in order to help avoid maternal suicide.

Also Read: 12 Commonly Asked Questions about Depression

Analysis of data

In the study, the researchers examined the Swedish national health data from 2001 to 2017 for the investigation. They evaluated the rate of suicide across around 856,500 women who were not diagnosed with prenatal depression and a number of women around 87,000 who were diagnosed. Data of siblings from January 2022 to November 2023 was used to compare among siblings to adjust for family confounding. In this study, the researchers explore that women having proper clinical diagnosis of PND had a higher probability of having suicidal behavior as compared with population-matched women or their full siblings with no PND.

Also discovered that having perinatal depression had a significantly higher the risk of suicidal thoughts or attempt throughout the both short & long-terms. In addition, after controlling for genetic or family characteristics, the risk remained rather constant or stable. Furthermore, women without any psychiatric history were more likely to die by suicide in comparison to those who had any other psychiatry problem.

The study concluded that in order to stop these tragic occurrences, there is a need for the careful clinical surveillance and treatments for this susceptible population.


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