This can double risk of anxiety and depression in women

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In a new study from the University of Edinburgh, researchers found women who have experienced the loss of a child through miscarriage or early in the child’s life are more than twice as likely to suffer from depression as those who did not.

They are also more than one and a half more times more likely to experience anxiety than those who have not lost a baby before, during, or shortly after birth.

In the study, the team examined studies published between January 1995 and March 2020 on how perinatal loss—the loss of a child during the period from conception through to 28 days post-delivery—affected common mental health outcomes such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress (PTS).

The 29 studies from 17 countries included data collected from more than one million women.

As well as the heightened risk of anxiety and depression, the team also found similar levels of these mental health conditions after loss in low, middle and high-income countries.

Maternal age had no big effect on depression outcomes, experts said, but being a younger mum was linked to a small increase in anxiety levels.

The perinatal loss did not result in any significant effects for PTS outcomes.

The study provides key information to help understand the link between miscarriage and perinatal loss and mental health conditions.

The association between perinatal loss and elevated levels of anxiety and depression is consistent across loss types, comparison groups and country income rankings.

It provides further evidence for prioritizing mental health following a loss.

Researchers say there are opportunities for further studies, including exploring the impact of recurrent loss on mental health and wellbeing.

If you care about depression, please read studies about world’s first test to accurately predict depression and bipolar disorder and findings of this common antibiotic may reduce depression.

For more information about depression and your health, please see recent studies about can depression drugs help reduce chronic back pain and osteoarthritis? and results showing that this depression drug could reduce PTSD symptoms rapidly and persistently.

The study is published in the Journal of Affective Disorders. One author of the study is Dr. Angus MacBeth.

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