WEDNESDAY, July 6, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Up to 3.18 percent of couples — both mothers and fathers — experience perinatal depression, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online June 24 in JAMA Network Open.

Kara L. Smythe, M.D., from University College London, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify studies evaluating the prevalence of perinatal mood disorders in both mothers and fathers (parental dyad).

Based on 23 identified studies (29,286 couples), the researchers found that the pooled prevalence of antenatal depression in both parents was 1.72 percent. The prevalence varied from 2.37 percent for early postnatal depression (up to 12 weeks postpartum) to 3.18 percent for late postnatal depression (three to 12 months postpartum).

“These findings suggest health care workers caring for new or expectant parents should be aware that both parents can concurrently experience perinatal mood disorders, with consequences for their health and well-being as well as that of their infant,” the authors write. “Further research should examine the coexistence of mood disorders in new or expectant parents, and the ideal screening tool, particularly for new or expectant fathers.”

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