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Is postpartum depression more of an urban problem?

2346112191_4b80416d0dA woman experiencing postpartum depression might feel alone in her experience, or like an island amidst a sea of people. Now research suggests that postpartum depression may be more likely among women who live in large urban areas, versus rural, semi-rural, or semi-urban areas.

In a study published recently in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, scientists from Women's College Hospital, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto, Ontario analyzed surveys from 6,421 Canadian women who had given birth in 2006. They found that 10 percent of women who live in cities with a population over 500,000 experienced postpartum depression, compared with 6 percent in rural areas with population under 1,000 or with fewer than 400 inhabitants per square kilometer.

The study authors said that geographic differences in important risk factors for postpartum depression, "such as immigration status, interpersonal violence, self perceived health and social support," likely account for the difference in rates. And, as reported by Medical News Today, they conclude:

...that their findings suggest that supports and services targeted toward increasing connections for isolated women in large urban areas may need to be increased in Canada, as well as in other countries.

They add:

"Considering the substantial negative effect of postpartum depression, such interventions could have broad-reaching social and public health impact."

Previously: Helping moms emerge from the darkness of postpartum depressionBreastfeeding difficulties may lead to depression in new moms and In study, health professionals helped prevent postpartum depression
Photo by aturkus

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