Depression in Pregnancy Linked to Increased Rates of Smoking

HealthDay News — Over the past decade, smoking during pregnancy has increased significantly among women experiencing a major depressive episode, according to a study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Renee D. Goodwin, PhD, MPH, from the City University of New York in New York City, and colleagues examined cigarette use among pregnant women with and without major depressive episodes using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2005 to 2014).

The researchers found prenatal smoking to be more common among pregnant women with major depressive episodes (32.5% vs 13% without major depressive episode; adjusted odds ratio [OR]: 2.50). Greater disparities were seen when also considering income, education, and race. Over the study period, smoking during pregnancy increased significantly among women with major depressive episodes (35.9% to 38.4%; P =.02), while a decreasing trend among women without major depressive episodes only approached statistical significance (12.5% to 9.1%; P =.07).

“Given the multitude of risks associated with both [major depressive episodes] and smoking during the prenatal period, more work targeting this vulnerable and high-risk group is needed,” the authors write.

Related Articles


Goodwin RD, Cheslack-Postova K, Nelson DB, et al. Smoking during pregnancy in the United States, 2005-2014: the role of depression. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017;179:159-166. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.06.021