Major Depression and Menopause

Deborah Cowley, MD

Disclosures

Journal Watch 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Major depressive episodes become more common during and immediately after the menopausal transition.

Introduction

Menopause is thought to increase the risk for depression. However, studies have had conflicting results and methodological flaws, such as measuring depressive symptoms rather than major depression, not controlling for past episodes, not following women prospectively through the menopausal transition, and not extending follow-up into postmenopause. In this 10-year study, researchers examined the development of major depressive episodes through menopause in 221 premenopausal women who were participating in a longitudinal study of health in menopause and aging (144 whites; 77 blacks; age range at study entry, 42–52).

Participants had at least one visit in perimenopause, and 131 had at least one visit in postmenopause. By year 10, 30% of whites and 34% of blacks had at least one major depressive episode. Higher rates of major depression were associated independently with history of major depression, psychotropic medication use, high body-mass index, and upsetting life events (but not with frequent vasomotor symptoms or reproductive hormone levels). Even after adjustment for significant factors, major depression was two to four times more likely during perimenopause and postmenopause than premenopause. Depression was more common in the first 2 years after menopause (but not later) than in perimenopause.

Comments

3090D553-9492-4563-8681-AD288FA52ACE
Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as:

processing....