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Causes and risk factors
Women with a history of postpartum affective disorder at increased risk of recurrence in future pregnancies
  1. Hannah Gordon1,
  2. Claire Wilson2
  1. 1 University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2 King’s College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Claire Wilson, Section of Women’s Mental Health, King’s College London, London SE5 8AF, UK; Claire.1.wilson{at}

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Commentary on: Rasmussen M-LH, Strøm M, Wohlfahrt J et al. Risk, treatment duration, and recurrence risk of postpartum affective disorder in women with no prior psychiatric history: a population-based cohort study. PLoS Med. 2017;14(9): e1002392.

What is already known on this topic

Postpartum depression (PPD) has an estimated prevalence of 10%–15%1 with associated negative maternal and child sequelae if left untreated. Following an episode of PPD, women are more likely to experience recurrent postpartum and non-postpartum depressive episodes, regardless of whether this was a first or subsequent depressive episode.2 PPD prevalence estimates typically include women with and without pre-existing psychiatric diagnoses. Thus, there is a poor understanding of potential differences in recurrence risk and treatment duration between these two groups.

Methods of the study

Data were linked from Danish national registers to follow 457 317 primiparous women without previous psychiatric diagnoses delivering between 1996 and 2013.3 These women were followed up until 31 …

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  • Twitter Follow Claire Wilson @drclairewilson.

  • Contributors HG drafted the original manuscript and CW provided additional input and edits.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.