Watch CBS News

Pitt researchers develop algorithm to predict depression during pregnancy

Pitt researchers develop algorithm to predict depression during pregnancy
Pitt researchers develop algorithm to predict depression during pregnancy 01:51

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- We hear a lot about postpartum depression, but about 15% of women develop depression during pregnancy. Now researchers at the University of Pittsburgh developed a way to identify who will likely develop depression.

The researchers at Pitt developed a machine-learning algorithm that could predict with excellent accuracy which pregnant women, who had no history of depression, would develop depression in the second or third trimesters.

Dr. Tamar Krishnamurti says they found that certain factors were key predictors of depression. 

"Worrying about financial stability or running out of food, concerns about an individual's ability to kind of manage their ongoing health problems," were some of the predictors, Dr. Krishnamurti said. 

"We found that some worries that were specific to pregnancy were predictive, so things like feeling stressed about their upcoming labor and delivery or worrying about how their new baby might affect their interpersonal relationships."

Depression is one of the leading complications of pregnancy, and suicide is a leading cause of death among pregnant women. Dr. Krishnamurti is hopeful this can help reduce that.

"The sooner that we know someone's at risk for depression, the earlier we can offer different preventive care options, whether that's therapy or peer support, or even tangible supports like providing meals or taking major stresses out of people's lives."

Dr. Krishnamurti says this is the first tool to predict depression, rather than identify it once it starts. The researchers are now creating a screener that any health care provider can use to predict which pregnant women may develop depression and to get them the help they need.

KDKA is proud to partner with Kidsburgh.org.  

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news