21 Sep 2004

NZ study finds low rates of post natal depression among Samoans

8:25 am on 21 September 2004

A New Zealand study has found Samoan mothers have among the lowest rates of postnatal depression in the world.

An Auckland University of Technology study of 14-hundred Pacific Island infants and their families found only eight per cent of Samoan mothers suffered post natal depression.

That compares with 20 per cent for all New Zealand mothers.

The university's Pro-Vice Chancellor, Max Abbott, says understanding why Samoan mothers have such low rates could be of great benefit to women worldwide.

"I've only identified two studies from over two hundred in the world that have rates in the league and one was in Japan and one was in the Netherlands and they were very small studies while this is a very large sample."

Max Abbott says there may be protective factors operating that could benefit other mothers.