Postpartum Depressive Symptoms and Smoking Relapse

Alicia M. Allen, Cheryl B. Prince, Patricia M. Dietz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background: Smokers with depressive symptoms are more likely to relapse after attempting to quit than those without depressive symptoms. Little is known about the relationship between depressive symptoms and relapse during the postpartum period; thus the aim of the present study is to assess the relationship between postpartum smoking relapse and depressive symptoms. Methods: Analysis of 2004 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) data from women in 16 states who reported smoking 3 months before pregnancy and reported abstinence from smoking during the last 3 months of pregnancy (n=2566). For women experiencing postpartum depressive symptoms, chi-square tests were computed for homogeneity of distribution between two groups (sustained abstinence versus relapsed) and an OR for relapsing during the postpartum period. Potential confounders, including demographic characteristics, intensity of smoking before pregnancy, and time since delivery, were computed. Results: Compared to women who did not experience postpartum depressive symptoms, women who did were 1.86 (95% CI=1.31, 2.65) times as likely to relapse during the postpartum period. After adjusting for demographic characteristics, intensity of smoking, and time since delivery, the association decreased slightly (adjusted OR=1.77, 95% CI=1.21, 2.59). Conclusions: Women who quit smoking during pregnancy may be more likely to relapse if they experience depressive symptoms. Further research is needed into the screening and treatment of postpartum depressive symptoms as a possible method for preventing postpartum smoking relapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-12
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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