A prospective registry analysis of psychosocial and metabolic health between women with and without metabolic syndrome after a complicated pregnancy

Emily Aldridge, K Oliver Schubert, Maleesa Pathirana, Susan Sierp, Shalem Y Leemaqz, Claire T Roberts, Gustaaf A Dekker, Margaret A Arstall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: Pregnancy complications affect over one quarter of Australian pregnancies, and this group of mothers is vulnerable and more likely to experience adverse cardiometabolic health outcomes in the postpartum period. Metabolic syndrome is common in this population and may be associated with postpartum mental health issues. However, this relationship remains poorly understood. To compare the differences in psychosocial parameters and mental health outcomes between women with metabolic syndrome and women without metabolic syndrome 6 months after a complicated pregnancy.

METHODS: This study is prospective registry analysis of women attending a postpartum healthy lifestyle clinic 6 months following a complicated pregnancy. Mental health measures included 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), 7-item Generalised Anxiety Disorder questionnaire (GAD-7), self-reported diagnosed history of depression, anxiety and/or other psychiatric condition, and current psychotropic medication use.

RESULTS: Women with metabolic syndrome reported significantly more subjective mental health concerns, were more likely to have a history of depression and other psychiatric diagnoses and were more likely prescribed psychotropic medications. However, there were no significant differences in PHQ-9 and GAD-7 scores.

CONCLUSION: Amongst new mothers who experienced complications of pregnancy, those with metabolic syndrome represent a particularly vulnerable group with regards to psychosocial disadvantage and mental health outcomes. These vulnerabilities may not be apparent when using common standardised cross-sectional mental health screening tools such as PHQ-9 and GAD-7.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461
JournalBMC Women's Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 21 Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Pregnancy
  • Humans
  • Female
  • Metabolic Syndrome/complications
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Australia/epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications/epidemiology
  • Registries

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