The rapid socioeconomic transition in post-communist Hungary adversely affected the overall morbidity and mortality rates in the 1990s. Prevalence data on depressive disorders from the region are still scarce, however. This study reports the findings of the first epidemiological survey, using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), on the prevalence of post-partum depression and the associated risk factors in Hungary. A total of 1030 mothers who delivered their babies between May and July 1999 in 16 counties in Hungary were screened for depressive symptoms 3-26 weeks post-partum. The survey found that 10.81% of the sample was above the cut-off score of 13, and the EPDS detected post-partum depressive symptoms with 76% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 60.5-87.1) sensitivity and 92% (95% CI = 90.5-94.1) specificity. In addition, 24 socio-demographic, socio-psychiatric data and personal and obstetric variables were surveyed. Results of a hierarchical logistic regression analysis showed that depression of the mother during pregnancy was the strongest predictor of depressive symptoms post-partum. Depression before pregnancy, housing conditions, marital relationship status and family history of alcohol problems were also identified as predictors for postpartum depressive symptoms. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.