Obstetrics & Gynaecology Publications

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Women's Health Reports





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Background: Although there is scientific literature supporting an association between depression and preeclampsia (PE), little is known about the underlying mechanistic pathways that may explain these observed associations. Thus, this study aimed to outline the relationship between depression and PE, and to highlight the underlying cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors that are common to both. Methods: A scoping review of the literature was conducted in Medline, Scopus, and Web of Science. Results: From 706 articles initially identified, 23 articles met the inclusion criteria and were included in this review. Although some studies reported a positive association between PE and postpartum depressive symptoms, challenges comparing different methodologies, measurement instruments and when measurements were administered, and patient populations do not permit a decisive conclusion. In addition, very few studies addressed potential underlying mechanisms that may be contributing to observed associations; thus, a secondary search was conducted to identify cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors that are common to both depression and PE. Conclusion: The cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors (i.e., increased inflammation and oxidative stress and decreased vascular and endothelial function) common to both depression and PE suggest that these factors may contribute as underlying mechanisms in both conditions. These similarities underscore the importance to better understand these mechanisms so preventative and therapeutic strategies could be developed to improve maternal health.