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Sex disparities in depression prevalence are lost when male-type depression symptoms are considered alongside traditional symptoms

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Question: What is the comparative lifetime prevalence of depression in men and women when assessed using alternative diagnostic scales that include symptoms of male-type depression?

Population: English-speaking adults (mean age 45.2 years) participating in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), a two-stage nationally representative mental health survey; 5692 participants who met lifetime criteria for any core disorder during Part I of the NCS-R, plus a one-in-three probability subsample of all other respondents, were included in NCS-R Part II.

Setting: USA 2001–2003.

Assessment: Two alternative scales were developed: the Male Symptoms Scale (MSS) and the Gender Inclusive Depression Scale (GIDS). The MSS assessed eight externalising symptoms that have been proposed as indicating male-type depression (stress, irritability, anger attacks/aggression, sleep disturbance, alcohol/other drug misuse, risk-taking behaviour, hyperactivity and loss of interest in pleasurable activities). The GIDS assessed the eight MSS symptoms as well as six traditional depression symptoms (sad/depressed mood, loss …

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  • Competing interests None.