Societal Costs of Untreated Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders in California

Societal Costs of Untreated Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders in California

Published: Apr 29, 2019
Publisher: Cambridge, MA: Mathematica Policy Research

Dara Lee Luca

Nellie Garlow

Caroline Margiotta

Although perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs), which include depression and anxiety disorders during pregnancy and postpartum, are common among mothers in California and the United States, these medical conditions often go undiagnosed and untreated. While PMADs have received increasing attention from policymakers and professional societies, the societal costs have not been well documented. This issue brief describes the findings from a new mathematical model that quantifies the societal costs of untreated PMADs from conception to age 5. The model uses the most recent data and credible estimates of maternal, child, and societal outcomes associated with untreated PMADs from peer-reviewed literature. We estimate that the total societal cost of untreated PMADs in California is $2.4 billion for all births in 2017 when following the mother-child pair from pregnancy through five years postpartum.

Please contact project director, Kara Zivin ( if you would like more information about the model, or would like to use it for your own purposes, such as possibility of updating the estimate for a new birth year and generating cost estimates of untreated perinatal mood and anxiety disorders for your state.

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