Poster Topical Area: Neurobiology
Location: Hall D
Poster Board Number: 730
Objective: To examine the associations between hemoglobin concentration, depressive symptoms and anxiety in early pregnancy.
Methods: A longitudinal study is ongoing with the goal of determining iron status and psychosocial wellbeing among pregnant women in Central Region of Ghana. About 200 women are being recruited from health facilities at three time points during pregnancy. Initial data on 55 women in their first trimester of pregnancy ( < 13 weeks) have been collected and are presented here. Data on sociodemographic variables, food security (8-item version of US Household Food Security Survey Module), anxiety (Beck Anxiety Inventory) and depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Inventory) were collected via questionnaires. Weight and height were measured to determine body mass index; hemoglobin (Hb) concentration was determined using a Hemocue and anemia was defined as Hb < 11 g/dL. Multiple linear regression models were used to determine predictors of depressive and anxiety symptoms and ANOVA was run to test for significant differences between groups<.br />
Results: The mean age of participants was 26.4 ± 5.6 years, mean body mass index was 23.7 ± 4.5 kg/m2 and mean Hb was 11.2 ± 1.6 g/dL. Most (71%) of the women were married. Approximately 29% were primigravida. Food insecurity (FIS) was present among 60% of the households. Using conventional cutoffs, depressive symptoms were exhibited by 58% of the women while 36% exhibited symptoms of anxiety. Anemia was present in 42% of the participants. Regression analyses revealed both Hb (beta weight = -1.72) and FIS (beta weight = 2.17) as significant predictors of depressive symptoms. Hb was not a significant predictor of anxiety but FIS was (beta weight = 1.45). When dichotomized based on the traditional cutoffs for depressive and anxiety symptoms, those with depressive symptoms had significantly lower Hb concentrations compared to those without depressive symptoms (p = 0.01).
Conclusions: Hb is a significant predictor of depressive symptoms and FIS significantly predicts both depressive symptoms and anxiety in early pregnancy among women in Central Region of Ghana. We will follow these women throughout pregnancy and will track these affective variables to determine if they change as pregnancy progresses to term.
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania