Our study was aimed to investigate the association between the use of antidepressants and the risk of preterm birth in pregnant women who have had perinatal depression. We extracted data from the Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) and analyzed them using multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression models. Identified from the NHIRD, we matched 1789 women aged 18–55 years who were using antidepressants during pregnancy and 1789 women who were experiencing depression but who were not using antidepressants during pregnancy for age, index date, and medical comorbidities. We enrolled the women in our study, which we conducted using 12 years’ worth of data between 2000 and 2012, and then followed up individually with them for up to 1 year to identify any occurrence of preterm birth. Results highlighted that, compared with the women with perinatal depression who were not using antidepressants during pregnancy, the women taking antidepressants had a 1.762-fold risk of preterm birth (adjusted HR=1.762, 95% CI 1.351 to 2.294, p<0.001). The use of antidepressants in women with perinatal depression may increase the risk of preterm birth. However, the decision to start, stop, or change the use of antidepressants during pregnancy requires evaluating the risks of treatment versus untreated depression for both mother and child.
- mental disorders
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.
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Contributors L-FC drafted the manuscript, developed the concept, and designed the experiments. C-EL and C-HC analyzed and interpreted the data. W-CC and C-HL supervised the manuscript preparation. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Funding This study was supported in part by the Tri-Service General Hospital Research Foundation (TSGH-B-110012).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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