Depressive Symptoms, Menopausal Status, and Climacteric Symptoms in Women at Midlife


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Abstract

ObjectivePrevious studies have found increased rates of depression in women aged 45 to 54 years, but the factors that influence these rates are not understood. It was assessed whether higher rates of depressive symptoms were associated with menopausal status, climacteric symptoms, and use of hormone replacement therapy.DesignCross-sectional survey.SettingCommunity sample.MethodsData are from 581 women ages 45 to 54 years who were interviewed by telephone between October 1998 and February 1999.MeasuresDepression was measured with the abbreviated CES-D, a depressive symptoms screening measure. Women’s reported perception of menopausal stage, frequency of periods in the preceding 12 months, and history of oophorectomy were used to classify their menopausal status into four categories: (1) no indication of menopause; (2) close to menopause; (3) had begun menopause; and (4) had completed menopause.ResultsThere were 168 women (28.9%) who reported a high level (≥10) of depressive symptoms when the abbreviated CES-D was used. In a logistic-regression analysis, significant factors associated with increased depressive symptoms included physical inactivity, inadequate income, use of estrogen/progesterone combination, and presence of climacteric symptoms (trouble sleeping, mood swings, or memory problems). Menopausal status was not associated with depressive symptoms.ConclusionsIn this sample of women age 45 to 54 years, climacteric symptoms but not menopausal status were associated with higher rates of depressive symptoms.

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