Navigation Links
Health-care providers should be alert to risk of suicide among pregnant women and new mothers
Date:11/30/2011

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Increased screening of pregnant women and new mothers for major depression and conflicts with intimate partners may help identify women at risk for suicide, a University of Michigan Health System-led analysis of federal data concludes.

Only a small percentage of women who take their own lives are pregnant or have recently become mothers, but their frequent interactions with the health care system may provide important opportunities for providers to intervene if risk factors are better understood, the researchers say.

Their findings were published online this month ahead of print publication in General Hospital Psychiatry.

"We have a more complete picture now of who these women are and what led up to these tragic events," says lead study author Katherine J. Gold, M.D., M.S.W., M.S., assistant professor of family medicine at the U-M Medical School. "These deaths ripple through families and communities and cause a lot of sorrow and devastation."

The study analyzed five years of suicide data from the National Violent Death Reporting System, which was introduced in 2003. The dataset is unique for linking multiple sources of information together to provide details that include demographics, pregnancy status, mental health and substance abuse status, and precipitating circumstances.

More than half of the women who killed themselves had a known mental health diagnosis, with mood disorder being the most common at 95 percent. Nearly half were known to have a depressed mood leading up to the suicide.

"Previous research has shown that depressive disorders affect 14-23 percent of pregnant and postpartum women and anxiety disorders affect 10-12 percent," says study senior author Christie Palladino, M.D., M.Sc., an obstetrician/gynecologist with Georgia Health Sciences University's Education Discovery Institute. "We've known that major depression is a factor in suicide for a long time.

"But this data tells us, for example, that pregnant and postpartum women had a much higher incidence of conflicts with intimate partners than their counterparts," Palladino continues.

Postpartum women were also more likely to have been identified as having a depressed mood in the two weeks prior to suicide than other women, the study found.

Also important, researchers found many similarities that did not vary significantly by pregnancy status: 56 percent of all victims had a known mental health diagnosis; 32 percent had previously attempted suicide; and 28 percent had a known alcohol or substance abuse issue at the time of death.

"Depression and substance use are risk factors for everyone, including pregnant and postpartum women," Gold adds.

The researchers also found that while education level and marital status were very similar across pregnant, postpartum and non-pregnant suicides, Hispanic women were far more likely to take their own lives while pregnant (10 percent of suicides among pregnant women) or within a year of pregnancy (9 percent of postpartum suicides) than when not pregnant (4 percent of non-pregnancy associated suicides).

The researchers acknowledge some inherent limitations of the data. Their sample of 2,083 suicides among women of plausible child-bearing age (15-54), was drawn only from the 17 states where data was available. It is also was impossible to interview the victims and get a full picture of mental health conditions, unreported domestic violence and other precipitating factors.

"As a society, we tend to avoid talking about suicide," Gold says. "But it's important to try to understand and talk about risk factors if we are going to address suicide from a public health perspective."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ian Demsky
idemsky@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Strategies increase health-care worker vaccination rates -- protecting patients
2. Showdown Over Health-Care Reform Bill Nears
3. House Democrats Approve Health-Care Reform Bill
4. House of Representatives Approves Health-Care Reform Bill
5. Decreasing health-care costs is focus of new informatics book by NJIT professor
6. Study finds surgical masks provided effective protection of health-care workers against H1N1
7. Mecklenburg-West Pomerania is heading for a health-care crisis
8. Health-care economics and policy: Its a perfect storm
9. Regional variation in health-care spending and utilization higher in Medicare than private sector
10. Reminding health-care staff to remove catheters reduces infections by half
11. Canada needs health-care leadership at federal level
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... & Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 ... ... of Activz Whole-Food Nutrition , announced that the much-anticipated feature with author Jahnavi ... New Really Cool Humans Amateur TV Network. , Each week, on his weekly Whole-Food ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... Looking for ... may be at the tips of your toes. Foot massage, whether administered by a ... pure comfort and relaxation. The American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... In ... across the country gathered at the La Valencia Hotel in San Diego, California ... Chicago was named the year’s most outstanding franchise, walking away with the coveted ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Pivot Point Consulting, a leading ... Software & Services for HIT Implementation Support & Staffing report with an outstanding ... performance by healthcare executives, managers and clinicians representing over 4,500 hospitals and 2,500 ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , ... February 05, 2016 , ... Colorize ... on one drop zone to the next using Colorize's dynamic moving camera. Colorize is ... This package includes a 3D slideshow environment with 1 to 5 focus points per ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016  Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... products and services to office-based dental, animal health and ... an agreement to acquire a majority ownership interest in ... equipment in Brazil . ... Blumenau, Brazil, Dental Cremer is the dental distribution business of ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... 4, 2016 France , ... , UK, and Israel ). It includes a 10-year ... 3 GD, segmented by age and sex in these markets. GD epidemiology ... Report is in-depth, high quality, transparent and market-driven, providing expert analysis of ... Germany , Italy , ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... For hospitals considering enrollment in the Federal ... the program, the Health Resources and Services Administration,s (HRSA) ... Mega-Guidance , could have significant impact on plans and ... 2016. Essential Insights , Daniel Neal, ... the Mega-Guidance,s key proposed changes, including a new requirement ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: