Childhood physical abuse as a common risk factor for depression and thyroid dysfunction in the earlier postpartum

Anna Plaza, Lluïsa Garcia-Esteve, Anna Torres, Carlos Ascaso, Estel Gelabert, María Luisa Imaz, Purificación Navarro, Manuel Valdés, Rocío Martín-Santos

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Childhood abuse is a powerful risk factor for developing postpartum depression in adulthood, and recently it has been associated to thyroid dysfunction in postpartum depressive women. The purpose of this study was to investigated the effects of childhood abuse on thyroid status and depressive symptomatology in two hundred and thirty-six (n=236) postpartum women 24-48. h after delivery. The Early-Trauma-Inventory Self-Report was used to assess the presence of childhood abuse and the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS) to evaluate depressive symptomatology (EPDS≥11). Free thyroxin (fT4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) were measured. Thyroid dysfunction (TD) was defined as altered TSH or TSH and fT4. Socio-demographic, reproductive, and psychopathological variables were also collected. Multivariate analysis shows that childhood physical abuse increases by four times the risk for TD (OR: 3.95, 95% CI: 1.23-12.71) and five times the risk for depressive symptomatology (OR: 5.45, 95% CI: 2.17-13.66) in the earlier postpartum. Our findings suggest that women with history of childhood physical abuse are particularly at-risk for thyroid dysfunction and depressive symptomatology 24-48. h after delivery. The assessment of childhood abuse in the perinatal period is important to identify women at-risk for physical and mental health problems in this period. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-335
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2012


  • Childhood abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Postpartum depressive symptomatology
  • Thyroid function


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