Postpartum depression after mild and severe preeclampsia

Meeke Hoedjes, Durk Berks, Ineke Vogel, Arie Franx, Meike Bangma, Anne-Sophie E Darlington, Willy Visser, Johannes J Duvekot, J Dik F Habbema, Eric A P Steegers, Hein Raat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To describe the prevalence of postpartum depressive symptoms after preeclampsia, to assess the extent to which the prevalence of postpartum depressive symptoms differs after mild and severe preeclampsia, and to investigate which factors contribute to such differences.

METHODS: Women diagnosed with preeclampsia (n=161) completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 6, 12, or 26 weeks postpartum. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the association between severity of preeclampsia, contributing factors and postpartum depression (PPD) (1) at any time during the first 26 weeks postpartum and (2) accounting for longitudinal observations at three time points.

RESULTS: After mild preeclampsia, 23% reported postpartum depressive symptoms at any time up to 26 weeks postpartum compared to 44% after severe preeclampsia (unadjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.16-6.05) for depression at any time up to 26 weeks postpartum (unadjusted OR 2.57, 95% CI, 1.14-5.76) while accounting for longitudinal observations. Admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) (adjusted OR 3.19, 95% CI 1.15-8.89) and perinatal death (adjusted OR 2.96, 95% CI 1.09-8.03) contributed to this difference.

CONCLUSIONS: It appears that not the severity of preeclampsia itself but rather the consequences of the severity of the disease (especially admission to the NICU and perinatal death) cause postpartum depressive symptoms. Obstetricians should be aware of the high risk of postpartum depressive symptoms after severe preeclampsia, particularly among women whose infant has been admitted to the NICU or has died.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1535-42
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of women's health (2002)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Depression, Postpartum/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Netherlands/epidemiology
  • Pre-Eclampsia/physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Young Adult


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