Psychiatrist Michael Silverman led a study on gestational diabetes and depression. This was the largest study ever conducted in this regard, with over 700,000 pregnancies analyzed. According to the data, gestational diabetes alone would increase the risk of postpartum depression by 70%. In women who have already suffered from depression, the chances are 20 times higher than normal.
From 1997 to 2008, Silverman analyzed over 700,000 first pregnancies. Among these emerged about 4,400 cases of postpartum depression, then within one year of giving birth. The new mothers who had already suffered from the disease proved to be more at risk. The same for women over 35 who have had 25% more cases of depression. However, one of the major risk factors has been shown to be gestational diabetes.
Among women with gestational diabetes, Silverman identified 70% of the cases in more than postpartum depression. Regardless of the presence or not of other risk factors, therefore, gestational diabetes weighs heavily on the psychophysical health of the new mother. However, the link between the two diseases has still unknown causes.
According to the researcher, the common cause could be inflammation. Indeed, some studies have proven the link between inflammatory cytokines and depression. These same cytokines are also linked to diabetes. Gestational diabetes, therefore, would not be the cause of depression. Rather, the two diseases would be related to the same phenomenon.