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The Mental Health of Women with Gestational Diabetes During the COVID-19 Pandemic: An International Cross-Sectional Survey

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Claire A. Wilson, Irene Gomez-Gomez, Judith Parsons, Raquel Costa, Ana Mesquita, Eleni Vousoura, Yolanda Contreras-Garcıa, Drorit Levy, Vera Mateus, Andri Christoforou, Ethel Felice, Pelin Dikmen-Yildiz, Sara Domı ́nguez-Salas, Emma Motrico

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1232-1240
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number9
Early online date19 Jul 2022
E-pub ahead of print19 Jul 2022
Published1 Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This paper is part of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action Riseup-PPD CA18138 and was supported by COST under COST Action Riseup-PPD CA18138. R.C. is supported by the FSE and FCT under an individual Post-Doctoral Grant SFRH/BPD/117597/2016. D.L. received funding from the Bar-Ilan Dangoor Centre for Personalized Medicine, Israel. C.A.W is supported by the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). Open access fees from an NIHR senior investigator grant (NIHR200241). Publisher Copyright: © Claire A. Wilson et al. 2022; Published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2022.

King's Authors


Background: There is evidence that women with gestational diabetes are at increased risk of the common mental disorders of anxiety and depression. The COVID-19 pandemic may have exerted an additional burden on the mental health of this population. The aim of this analysis was to compare levels of symptoms of common mental disorders and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic between pregnant and postnatal women exposed and unexposed to gestational diabetes. Methods: Cross-sectional study utilizing quantitative data from an online survey administered across 10 countries to women who were pregnant or up to 6 months postpartum from 15 June to October 31, 2020. Women self-reported gestational diabetes and completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and GAD-7 (Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 items) measures. The COPE-IS (Coronavirus Perinatal Experiences-Impact Survey) tool was also administered. Complete case analyses were conducted on a sample of 7,371 women. Results: There was evidence of an association between gestational diabetes and increased levels of depression symptoms, which was robust to adjustment for age, education, and employment status. There was only evidence of an association with anxiety in postnatal women. There was also evidence that women with gestational diabetes, particularly those in the postnatal period, experienced higher levels of pandemic-related distress, although they did not experience higher levels of COVID-19 infection in this sample. Conclusions: The increased risk of common mental disorders in women with gestational diabetes underscores the importance of integrated physical and mental health care for pregnant and postnatal women both during and beyond the pandemic. Clinical Trial Registration no. NCT04595123.

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