Background Mental and physical health conditions are frequently comorbid. Despite the widespread physiological and behavioral changes during pregnancy, the pattern of comorbidities among women in pregnancy is not well studied. This study aimed to systematically examine the associations between mental and somatic disorders before and during pregnancy. Method The study used data from mothers of a nationally representative birth cohort of children born in Israel (1997-2008). We compared the risk of all major somatic disorders (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision) in pregnant women with and without a mental disorder. All analyses were adjusted for maternal age, child's birth year, family socioeconomic status, and the total number of maternal encounters with health services around pregnancy period. Results The analytical sample included 77,030 mother-child dyads, with 30,083 unique mothers. The mean age at child's birth was 29.8 years. Prevalence of diagnosis of mental disorder around pregnancy in our sample was 4.4%. Comorbidity between mental and somatic disorders was two times higher than the comorbidity between pairs of different somatic disorders. Of the 17 somatic disorder categories, seven were positively associated with mental health disorders. The highly prevalent comorbidities associated with mental disorders in pregnancy included e.g. musculoskeletal (OR = 1.30; 95% CI = 1.20-1.42) and digestive system diseases (OR = 1.23; 95% CI = 1.13-1.34). Conclusions We observed that associations between maternal diagnoses and mental health stand out from the general pattern of comorbidity between nonmental health diseases. The study results confirm the need for screening for mental disorders during pregnancy and for potential comorbid conditions associated with mental disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 16 Jan 2023


  • Comorbidity
  • maternal health
  • mental disorders
  • pregnancy
  • psychiatric epidemiology
  • somatic disorders


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