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Postpartum depression more common among immigrant new born mothers.

Postpartum depression symptoms are more common in newcomer women than in Canadian-born women, a research team at McMaster University reports in the Feb. 08 issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. "Our results confirm that newcomer women have a three to almost five-times increased risk" of PPD.

The researchers, led by Professor Dona Stewart, recommend:

* social support interventions be tested for their ability to prevent or alleviate this risk; and

* inquiries about depressive symptoms be made to all pregnant women and new mothers, especially to those who are new to the country.

The research team interviewed refugee and nonrefugee immigrants, asylum-seekers, and Canadian-born new mothers for depression, social support, interpersonal violence, and demographic information. They rated the data on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and found immigrant women:

* were significantly more likely than Canadian-born women to score 10, the highest for the risk of PPD; and

* women with the highest scores had less social supports than Canadian born women.

Postpartum depression is increasingly recognized as having negative affects on the health of the mother, infant and entire family. Most studies included women born in industrialized countries such as the United States, Canada, England and Australia. Little data is available on migrating populations.

The interviews were carried in hospitals in the main receiving cities for immigrants to Canada: Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. The interviewees, speaking 13 languages, included women who came to Canada within the last 5 years as students, temporary workers or as live-in caregivers.

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Title Annotation:HEALTH
Publication:Community Action
Date:Mar 20, 2008
Words:247
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