Fathers have pre- and postpartum depression, too

August 1, 2010

About 1 in every 10 new prospective fathers suffers from depression, which correlates positively with its maternal counterpart, according to new research.

About 1 in every 10 new or prospective fathers suffers from depression, which correlates positively with its maternal counterpart, according to the authors of a meta-analysis of 43 studies obtained through MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Embase, Google Scholar, dissertation abstracts, and reference lists documenting paternal depression.

The studies involved 28,004 participants. Although wide variation in rates of depression in fathers existed, the researchers estimated the overall rate of paternal depression during the first trimester through 1 year postpartum to be 10.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.5%-12.7%). The rate rose to 25.6% during the 3- to 6-month postpartum period (95% CI, 17.3%-36.1%). Paternal and maternal depression were positively and moderately correlated (r=.308; 95% CI, 0.228-0.384).

Paulson JF, Bazemore SD. Prenatal and postpartum depression in fathers and its association with maternal depression. JAMA. 2010;303(19):1961-1969.