Male infants and birth complications are associated with increased incidence of postnatal depression

Myers, Sarah and Johns, Sarah E. (2019) Male infants and birth complications are associated with increased incidence of postnatal depression. Social Science & Medicine, 220 . pp. 56-64. ISSN 0277-9536. E-ISSN 0277-9536. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.10.008) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

PDF (Accepted mansuscript pre-proofing) - Author's Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 2 November 2021.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Contact us about this Publication Download (1MB)
[img]
Official URL
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.10.008

Abstract

Rationale: A growing body of literature links both depressive symptoms generally, and those speci?cally in the postnatal period, with an in?ammatory immune response. Evolutionary medical approaches, such as the Pathogen Host Defence Theory of Depression (PATHOS-D), have likened depression to sickness behaviour in other mammals, and propose that the characteristics associated with depression are protective when an individual is experiencing pathogenic threat. Many known risk factors for depressive symptoms are associated with activation of in?ammatory pathways, opening up the potential for identifying novel risk factors based on their in?ammation causing e?ects. Objective: Both the gestation of male foetuses and the experience of birth complications have documented associations with increased in?ammation, yet their relationships with postnatal depression (PND) are currently unclear. Method: Here we use the complete reproductive histories of 296 women from contemporary, low fertility populations gathered by retrospective survey to assess whether the odds of PND increased when mothers gave birth to male infants or experienced birth complications, using generalised estimating equation models controlling for individual e?ects of the mother and other known PND risk factors. Results: We found the odds of PND increased by 71–79% when male infants were born compared to female infants. The occurrence of birth complications increased the odds of PND by 174% compared to having no complications. Testing for interaction e?ects found that, while always at increased risk of PND, women with a tendency towards symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress at other points in the life course had reduced odds of PND when experiencing birth complications, suggesting such women may elicit greater support. Conclusions: These results highlight two novel PND risk factors, male infants and birth complications, which can be easily assessed by health professionals.

Item Type: Article
Additional information: Open access at this link until December 22nd 2018 https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1X~s3-CmUhkBG
Uncontrolled keywords: Postnatal depression; Infant sex; Birth complications; Inflammation; Evolutionary medicine
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences
R Medicine
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics > RG551 Pregnancy
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biological Anthropology
Depositing User: Sarah Johns
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2018 09:36 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 15:28 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/69566 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Johns, Sarah E.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7715-7351
  • Depositors only (login required):

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year