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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the obstetric outcome and health care consumption during pregnancy, delivery, and the early postpartum period in an unselected population-based sample of pregnant women diagnosed with antenatal depressive and/or anxiety disorders, compared with healthy subjects.

METHODS: Participants were 1,495 women attending 2 obstetric clinics in Northern Sweden. The Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders was used to evaluate depressive and anxiety disorders in the second trimester of pregnancy. To assess demographic characteristics, obstetric outcome, and complications, the medical records of the included women were reviewed.

RESULTS: Significant associations were found between depression and/or anxiety and increased nausea and vomiting, prolonged sick leave during pregnancy and increased number of visits to the obstetrician, specifically, visits related to fear of childbirth and those related to contractions. Planned cesarean delivery and epidural analgesia during labor were also significantly more common in women with antenatal depression and/or anxiety.

CONCLUSION: There is an association between antenatal depressive and/or anxiety disorders and increased health care use (including cesarean deliveries) during pregnancy and delivery.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II-2

(C) 2004 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.