Depression precedes, but does not follow, gestational diabetes

Claire E. Clark, Natalie L. Rasgon, David E. Reed, Thalia K. Robakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine whether past history of depression is associated with increased rates of gestational diabetes, and whether history of gestational diabetes is associated with increased rates of postpartum depression. Research design: Data for this case–control study consisted of de-identified chart records for 1439 women who received pregnancy care at a large university hospital between 1998 and 2017. Results: A history of depression prior to pregnancy was associated with gestational diabetes requiring insulin, although not with subtler degrees of gestational hyperglycemia. Diabetes in pregnancy was not associated with an increased risk of postpartum depression. Trauma history was associated with both impaired glucose tolerance in pregnancy and postpartum depression. Conclusions: Past episodes of depression increase risk for the most severe form of gestational diabetes; however, gestational diabetes does not contribute significantly to risk for postpartum depression. This suggests a unidirectional association, unlike the bidirectional association of diabetes with depression among the general population. History of trauma increases risk for both gestational hyperglycemia and postpartum depression, suggesting important health effects of trauma that may differ measurably from those associated with depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-321
Number of pages11
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • depression
  • gestational diabetes
  • insulin
  • postpartum
  • psychopathology
  • risk factors
  • trauma


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