• Journal Article

Elevated risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women with depression: Depression or antidepressants?

Citation

Palmsten, K., Setoguchi, S., Margulis, A., Patrick, A. R., & Hernandez-Diaz, S. (2012). Elevated risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women with depression: Depression or antidepressants? American Journal of Epidemiology, 175(10), 988-997. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwr394

Abstract

A previous study suggested an increased risk of preeclampsia among women treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Using population-based health-care utilization databases from British Columbia (1997–2006), the authors conducted a study of 69,448 pregnancies in women with depression. They compared risk of preeclampsia in women using SSRIs, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), or tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) between gestational weeks 10 and 20 with risk in depressed women not using antidepressants. Among prepregnancy antidepressant users, the authors compared the risk in women who continued antidepressants between gestational weeks 10 and 24 with the risk in those who discontinued. Relative risks and 95% confidence intervals were estimated. The risk of preeclampsia in depressed women not treated with antidepressants (2.4%) was similar to that in women without depression (2.3%). Compared with women with untreated depression, women treated with SSRI, SNRI, and TCA monotherapy had adjusted relative risks of 1.22 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.97, 1.54), 1.95 (95% CI: 1.25, 3.03), and 3.23 (95% CI: 1.87, 5.59), respectively. Within prepregnancy antidepressant users, the relative risk for preeclampsia among continuers compared with discontinuers was 1.32 (95% CI: 0.95, 1.84) for SSRI, 3.43 (95% CI: 1.77, 6.65) for SNRI, and 3.26 (95% CI: 1.04, 10.24) for TCA monotherapy. Study results suggest that women who use antidepressants during pregnancy, especially SNRIs and TCAs, have an elevated risk of preeclampsia. These associations may reflect drug effects or more severe depression.