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Risk factors for postnatal depression (PND) are under-explored in the Chinese populations. There is increasing recognition of the importance of identifying predictive factors during the antenatal period for PND. The present study aimed to identify the risk factors for postnatal depression in a community cohort of Chinese women with special focus on the antenatal risk factors.
Eight hundred and five Chinese women were interviewed during their third trimester of pregnancy and at around 2 months postnatally. Putative risk factors for PND were collected and the diagnosis of PND was confirmed by the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders. The 2-month postnatal depression status was used as the dependent variable for univariate and multivariate analyses against putative risk factors.
Marital dissatisfaction (Relative Risk = 8.27), dissatisfied relationship with mother-in-law (Relative Risk = 3.93), antenatal depressive symptomatology (Relative Risk = 3.90), and anxiety-prone personality (Relative Risk = 2.14) predicted PND in Chinese women independently.
Chinese women tend to keep their own feelings and emotions and it is important to monitor Chinese pregnant women with these predictive risk factors so that PND can be identified early.