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Postnatal depression 'can be predicted'

16th September 2009

Postnatal depression could now be anticipated, according to researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia.

The scientists hope that their research will make it possible to intervene early on to prevent women from developing the condition.

Diagnosis is thought to be possible with 80 per cent accuracy, the study of 1,397 Spanish women suggested.

Commenting on the study, published in the journal Methods of Information in Medicine, lead author Salvador Tortajada explained that the next step will be 'for psychiatrists to start to test it directly on patients in order to study the true potential of these tools'.

Two overriding factors were found to reduce the chance of getting postnatal depression in the study.

Older women and those that had worked during their pregnancy were found to be at a lower risk of the condition.

Research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthapaedic Surgeons last month recommended that doctors encourage pregnant women to exercise, which is healthy for both parent and child.

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