Racial differences in the prevalence of antenatal depression

Amelia R. Gavin, Jennifer L. Melville, Tessa Rue, Yuqing Guo, Karen Tabb Dina, Wayne J. Katon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study examined whether there were racial/ethnic differences in the prevalence of antenatal depression based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, diagnostic criteria in a community-based sample of pregnant women. Method: Data were drawn from an ongoing registry of pregnant women receiving prenatal care at a university obstetric clinic from January 2004 through March 2010 (N = 1997). Logistic regression models adjusting for sociodemographic, psychiatric, behavioral and clinical characteristics were used to examine racial/ethnic differences in antenatal depression as measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire. Results: Overall, 5.1% of the sample reported antenatal depression. Blacks and Asian/Pacific Islanders were at increased risk for antenatal depression compared to non-Hispanic White women. This increased risk of antenatal depression among Blacks and Asian/Pacific Islanders remained after adjustment for a variety of risk factors. Conclusion: Results suggest the importance of race/ethnicity as a risk factor for antenatal depression. Prevention and treatment strategies geared toward the mental health needs of Black and Asian/Pacific Islander women are needed to reduce the racial/ethnic disparities in antenatal depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-93
Number of pages7
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Asian/Pacific islander
  • Black
  • Depression
  • Pregnancy
  • Racial disparity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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