Sex- and age-related differences in major depressive disorder with comorbid anxiety treated with fluoxetine

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To examine sex- and age-related differences of treatment outcome in a cohort of outpatients with major depressive disorder (MDD), with and without comorbid anxiety, treated with fluoxetine.


Outpatients with a SCID-diagnosis of MDD aged 18 to 65 years were treated openly with fluoxetine (20 mg/day) for 8 weeks. The 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D-17) was administered at baseline, and at weeks 2, 4, 6 and 8. Remission of MDD was defined as a HAM-D-17 score ≤7 at week 8. Rates of remission and change of depressive symptoms of MDD were compared among women aged <45 years and ≥45 years. The analyses were then repeated in men. The presence of comorbid anxiety disorders was included in the prediction model for change of depressive symptoms of MDD across age and sex.


176 women and 153 men were included in this analysis. Remission of MDD occurred in 57.1% and 50% of younger and older women respectively. Similar rates were present in men (57.2% and 49.1%, respectively). Age did not predict remission of depression or change of depressive symptoms of MDD, in both women and men. Anxious and non-anxious subtypes of depression did not present sex- or age-related differences in treatment outcome.


In this cohort of outpatients with MDD, we observed no sex- or age-related differences in response to an 8-week treatment with the SSRI fluoxetine. Similarly, there were no age-related differences among women with anxious and non-anxious subtype of depression.

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