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Depression link; In association with the NHS.

LEVELS of a hormone produced by the placenta halfway through pregnancy could provide a test for women at risk of postnatal depression, a new US study found. A "surge" of the hormone when women were between 23 and 26 weeks pregnant was associated with later post-natal depression. The condition, which usually shows between four and six weeks of giving birth, is distinct from the "baby blues". Around one in 500 are severely affected. Research suggests that 17,000 women in the UK may suffer undetected post-natal depression each year. Scientists in California studied 100 pregnant women to test whether levels of placental corticotropin-releasing hormone (pCRH) may play a role.

Of the total, 16 women went on to develop post-natal depression symptoms. When their levels of pCRH were examined it was found that within a narrow band of pregnancy the hormone gave a good indication of risk. The findings were reported in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 9, 2009
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