October 17, 2023
According to a study published in the Journal of Rheumatology, women of childbearing age with rheumatic disease are at greater risk for postpartum depression, compared to women without rheumatic disease. This study looked at postpartum depression (PPD) in women with three types of arthritis: axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The study retrospectively analyzed data collected from a large commercial insurance database.
The authors of the study identified pregnant women less than 55 years old with axSpA, PsA, or RA and used their delivery date as the starting point. They then matched each pregnant woman to a group of four individuals without any rheumatic disease. The matches were based on their age, prior history of depression, and duration of depression before delivery.
The authors used statistical models to estimate the risk of developing postpartum depression within one year for the women with rheumatic disease compared to the matched group without rheumatic disease. In total, they included 2,667 women with axSpA, PsA, or RA and 10,668 women without rheumatic disease in their analysis. The median follow-up time was around 256-265 days for both groups.
The results showed that postpartum depression was more common in the group with axSpA, PsA, or RA compared to the group without rheumatic disease. Approximately 17.2% of women with axSpA, PsA, or RA developed postpartum depression, while only 12.8% of the matched group without rheumatic disease experienced it.
The study had some limitations. For example, the researchers stated there was a possibility that they had underestimated postpartum depression rates in the group without rheumatic disease, since depression wasn’t defined by the use of anti-depressant medication. Also, because they used data from a commercial insurance claims database, the study is only limited to women with commercial insurance. The authors assert that despite these limitations, the findings of the study highlight the importance of identifying and addressing the mental health needs of women with axSpA, PsA, or RA during the postpartum period.
- Postpartum Depression in Reproductive-Age Women With and Without Rheumatic Disease: A Population-Based Matched Cohort Study
- Impact of pregnancy on health related quality of life evaluated prospectively in pregnant women with rheumatic diseases by the SF-36 health survey
- Spondyloarthritis in Women