Heterogeneity of postpartum depression: a latent class analysis
Department of Psychiatry
Maternal and Child Health | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology | Translational Medical Research | Women's Health
BACKGROUND: Maternal depression in the postpartum period confers substantial morbidity and mortality, but the definition of postpartum depression remains controversial. We investigated the heterogeneity of symptoms with the aim of identifying clinical subtypes of postpartum depression.
METHODS: Data were aggregated from the international perinatal psychiatry consortium Postpartum Depression: Action Towards Causes and Treatment, which represents 19 institutions in seven countries. 17,912 unique subject records with phenotypic data were submitted. We applied latent class analyses in a two-tiered approach to assess the validity of empirically defined subtypes of postpartum depression. Tier one assessed heterogeneity in women with complete data on the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale (EPDS) and tier two in those with postpartum depression case status.
FINDINGS: 6556 individuals were assessed in tier one and 4245 in tier two. A final model with three latent classes was optimum for both tiers. The most striking characteristics associated with postpartum depression were severity, timing of onset, comorbid anxiety, and suicidal ideation. Women in class 1 had the least severe symptoms (mean EPDS score 10.5), followed by those in class 2 (mean EPDS score 14.8) and those in class 3 (mean EPDS score 20.1). The most severe symptoms of postpartum depression were significantly associated with poor mood (mean EPDS score 20.1), increased anxiety, onset of symptoms during pregnancy, obstetric complications, and suicidal ideation. In class 2, most women (62%) reported symptom onset within 4 weeks postpartum and had more pregnancy complications than in other two classes (69% vs 67% in class 1 and 29% in class 3).
INTERPRETATION: PPD seems to have several distinct phenotypes. Further assessment of PPD heterogeneity to identify more precise phenotypes will be important for future biological and genetic investigations.
FUNDING: Sources of funding are listed at the end of the article.
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Citation: Lancet Psychiatry. 2015 Jan;2(1):59-67. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(14)00055-8. Epub 2015 Jan 8. Link to article on publisher's site
Postpartum Depression: Action Towards Causes and Treatment (PACT) Consortium; Deligiannidis, Kristina M.; and Meltzer-Brody, Samantha, "Heterogeneity of postpartum depression: a latent class analysis" (2015). UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science Supported Publications. 106.