Evid Based Med doi:10.1136/eb-2012-101136
  • Aetiology
  • Cohort study

The possible effects of depressive symptoms on risk of preterm birth are clouded by lack of control over confounding factors

  1. Kimberly A Yonkers
  1. Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  1. Correspondence to: Kimberly A Yonkers
    Yale University School of Medicine, 142 Temple Street, New Haven, CT 06896, USA; kimberly.yonkers{at}

Commentary on: .


Depressive symptoms have been associated with risk of preterm birth (PTB).1 Straub and colleagues sought to explore whether an elevated score on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is associated with adverse birth outcomes, including PTB.


The authors present results from a ‘universal’ screening project that enrolled 14 175 women who received prenatal care through the NorthShore University Health System. Approximately 50% of women receiving prenatal care were screened. Barriers to inclusion were participant refusal and administrative issues, but PTB rates were similar in screened and non-screened subgroups. Screening occurred between 24 and 28 weeks gestation; …

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