Postpartum thyroid measures and depressive symptomology: A pilot study

Sarah J. Breese McCoy, J. Martin Beal, Mark E. Payton, Audra L. Stewart, Ariana M. DeMers, Gary H. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Context: While correlations have been demonstrated between postpartum depression and psychosocial and circumstantial risk factors, some evidence exists for a similar relationship between postpartum depression and thyroid measures. Objective: To search at 4 weeks postpartum for correlations of numerical scores on a postnatal depression screening tool and thyroid measures. Methods: Subjects took the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) prenatally and at 4 weeks postpartum. Participants were also given blood tests for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine4, thyroid peroxidase, and thyroglobulin at the same testing intervals. Results: Fifty-one subjects aged 18 years or older were recruited. Subjects with higher serum TSH at 4 weeks post-partum tended to have higher EPDS scores. Similarly, the 7 subjects (13.7%) with positive postnatal thyroid antibody tests were more likely than their counterparts to have higher EPDS scores. Conclusions: Presence of thyroid autoantibodies or higher TSH levels during the postpartum period may be related to depressive symptoms or dysphoric mood, even when clinical depression is not present. Either or both of these associations may contribute, along with other physiologic and psychosocial risk factors, to postpartum depression. ( number NCT00565032).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-507
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Osteopathic Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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