HealthDay News — Female patients with gestational diabetes mellitus are more likely to have a history of depression, results of a study published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing suggest.

To determine whether women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) had more symptoms of depression compared with women without GDM , Mary Byrn, PhD, RN, and Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, of Loyola University Chicago, examined pregnant patients with GDM (n=65) and without (n=70). The participants were all between 20 and 40 weeks gestation. Symptoms of depression were assessed in pregnant women attending routine prenatal care visits.

Significant symptoms of depression were identified in 20% of women with GDM and 13% of women without GDM. After adjustment for age, income, marital status, body mass index, and gravida, the likelihood of having a history of depression was increased 3.79-fold for women with GDM (P=0.04) compared to women without GDM. For women with and those without GDM, significant predictors of depression were anxiety and perceived stress.

“Results suggest that symptoms of depression are common during the antepartum period, thus assessment and education regarding this disorder are important,” concluded the researchers.

“In addition, a history of depression may be a risk factor for the development of GDM.”


  1. Bryn M, Penckofer S et al. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing. 2015; doi: 10.1111/1552-6909.12554