Background: Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy including gestational hypertension, preeclampsia and eclampsia are conditions that cause significant perinatal and maternal morbidity and mortality.
Objective: This is a systematic review of the current evidence examining the relationship between both depression and antidepressants on pregnancy-related hypertensive conditions.
Method: In accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta Analyses (PRISMA) protocol, six databases were searched for articles published between January 1990 and December 2017 (PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, MEDLINE and ClinicalTrials.gov). Randomized control trials, cohort studies and case-control studies were included in this review. Studies that measured the following exposures were included: antidepressant exposure or diagnosis of depression. Studies that measured the following outcomes were included: gestational hypertension, preeclampsia or eclampsia. A combination of keywords as well as Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) index terms were used for three general categories: antidepressants, depression and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. A total of 743 studies were identified and 711 were excluded based on relevance to the research question. Twenty studies were included in the final systematic review.
Results: Of the twenty relevant studies, ten specifically examined the relationship between depression and hypertension in pregnancy. Only two of these did not find a significant association. Of the ten studies that concentrated on antidepressant medications, all except one found an association with hypertension in pregnancy to varying degrees.
Conclusion: Review of the literature suggests a possible association between depression and antihypertensive medications with pregnancy-related hypertension, but further studies are needed.