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July 25, 1966

Postpartum Impact on Patients With Independently Diagnosed Affective Disorder

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. Dr. Ruangtrakool is now at Siriraj Hospital and Medical School, Dhonburi, Thailand.

JAMA. 1966;197(4):242-246. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110040052013

Seventy-one women who suffered from primary affective disorder independent of the postpartum state were examined by a systematic interview concerned with pregnancies, deliveries, previous episodes of psychiatric illness, and coincidence of the postpartum state with psychiatric illness. Five patients who had affective illness independent of pregnancy had also had a total of six postpartum psychoses. Sixty-six patients with affective disorder had never suffered a postpartum psychiatric episode. Ten pregnancies preceded the index postpartum psychosis in the five women and these were not associated with postpartum illnesses. In four subsequent pregnancies, one was associated with postpartum illness. The specific morbidity risk for the development of an affective disorder in the postpartum state (10%) in the group of affectively disordered women was not significantly different from the morbidity risk at any other time during their life (6%).