Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health


Article in Press


13 pp.


Background: Pregnant and postpartum women are at high risk of depression due to hormonal and biological changes. Antenatal depression is understudied compared to postpartum depression and its predictors remain highly controversial.

Aim: To estimate the prevalence of depressive symptoms during pregnancy and investigate factors associated with this condition including vitamin D, folate and Vitamin B12 among participants in the Kuwait Birth Study.

Methods: Data collection occurred as part of the Kuwait Birth Cohort Study in which pregnant women were recruited in the second and third trimester during antenatal care visits. Data on antenatal depression were collected using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), considering a score of ≥ 13 as an indicator of depression. Logistic regression was used to investigate factors associated with depressive symptoms in pregnant women.

Results: Of 1108 participants in the Kuwait Birth Cohort study, 1070(96.6%) completed the EPDS. The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 21.03%(95%CI:18.62–23.59%) and 17.85%(95%CI:15.60-20.28%) as indicated by an EPDS ≥ 13 and EPDS ≥ 14 respectively. In the multivariable analysis, passive smoking at home, experiencing stressful life events during pregnancy, and a lower level of vitamin B12 were identified as predisposing factors. Conversely, having desire for the pregnancy and consumption of fruits and vegetables were inversely associated with depressive symptoms.

Conclusion: Approximately, one fifth of pregnant women had depressive symptoms indicating the need to implement screening program for depression in pregnant women, a measure not systematically implemented in Kuwait. Specifically, screening efforts should focus on pregnant women with unintended pregnancies, exposure to passive smoking at home, and recent stressful live events.


© The Authors 2024.

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Data Availability

Article states: "Data analyzed in this study will be available from the corresponding authors upon reasonable request."

Original Publication Citation

Al-Sabah, R., Al-Taiar, A., Ziyab, A. H., Akhtar, S., & Hammoud, M. S. (2024). Antenatal depression and its associated factors: Findings from Kuwait Birth Cohort Study. Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health. Advance online publication.


0000-0001-7421-3381 (Al-Taiar)