The effects of comorbid depression and anxiety were compared to the effects of depression alone and anxiety alone on pregnancy mood states and biochemistry and on neonatal outcomes in a large multi-ethnic sample. At the prenatal period the comorbid and depressed groups had higher scores than the other groups on the depression measure. But, the comorbid group had higher anxiety, anger and daily hassles scores than the other groups, and they had lower dopamine levels. As compared to the non-depressed group, they also reported more sleep disturbances and relationship problems. The comorbid group also experienced a greater incidence of prematurity than the depressed, the high anxiety and the non-depressed groups. Although the comorbid and anxiety groups were lower birthweight than the non-depressed and depressed groups, the comorbid group did not differ from the depressed and anxiety groups on birth length. The neonates of the comorbid and depressed groups had higher cortisol and norepinephrine and lower dopamine and serotonin levels than the neonates of the anxiety and non-depressed groups as well as greater relative right frontal EEG. These data suggest that for some measures comorbidity of depression and anxiety is the worst condition (e.g., incidence of prematurity), while for others, comorbidity is no more impactful than depression alone.
- Comorbid depression
- Neonatal outcome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology