Depression history in women predicts risk of depression at menopause

02 Jan 2023
Depression history in women predicts risk of depression at menopause

Women with prior depression, regardless of the timing, are likely to experience symptoms of depression during perimenopause, according to a study.

This Danish nationwide register-based cohort study included 270,613 individuals who were born in 1960–1968, who gave birth to a liveborn child before the age of 40 years, and who lived in Denmark when turning 47 years old.

Researchers examined the association between postpartum depression and depression during perimenopause using a Cox proportional hazards model with adjustments for education level, marital status, and age at first delivery.

Of the participants, 7,694 (2.9 percent) received a diagnosis of depression during perimenopause. Multivariable analysis showed that the risk of depression during perimenopause was markedly high among participants with a history of postpartum depression than among those with no history of depression (hazard ratio [HR], 12.82, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 8.93–18.41).

The risk increase was also observed among participants who had had depression prior to study baseline (HR, 11.91, 95 percent CI, 11.14–12.73).

There was no significant difference noted in the association between perimenopausal depression and postpartum depression, as well as between perimenopausal depression and depression prior to study baseline.

The findings suggest that postpartum depression does not pose a greater risk of perimenopausal depression than depression that is not associated with periods of hormonal changes during a woman’s fertile life.

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