Antenatal depression twice as likely for Pacific women

​A New Zealand study has found Pacific women in the country are twice as likely to be affected by depression during pregnancy.

The Growing up in New Zealand study surveyed 5,664 women and tracks the development of New Zealand children from before birth till they are young adults.

An investigator for the study, Karen Waldie, says it is difficult to pinpoint why Pacific women are more susceptible to antenatal depression.

"A lot of the factors that came out in analyses had to do with things that you would think would be protective for that group, things like family cohesion and neighbourhood support but for Pacific people that doesn't hold true"

Karen Waldie says pregnancy and pre-pregnancy health including weight and smoking also have an effect and could be putting Pacific women more at risk of depression.