Hormone levels could find postnatal depression risk

Women at risk of postnatal depression could be identified by hormone levels during pregnancy, US researchers believe.

Photograph: iStockphoto/Kelly Boreson
Photograph: iStockphoto/Kelly Boreson

Ilona Yim and colleagues from the University of California measured levels of placental corticotrophin-releasing hormone (pCRH) at five stages of pregnancy.


Of the 100 women studied, 16 went on to develop postnatal depression. The level of pCRH strongly predicted postnatal depression symptoms, the researchers found.


‘pCRH during this period may serve as a sensitive and specific early diagnostic test to identify women at high risk for developing [postnatal depression] symptoms,' Dr Yim and her team said.



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