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The menopausal transition increases the risk of depressive symptoms and depression diagnosis in women without a history of depression

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Q Is new onset depression associated with menopausal transition and hormonal changes within individual women?


Embedded ImageDesign:

Population based within-woman prospective cohort study.

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

Eight years.

Embedded ImageSetting:

Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA; 1996 to 2004.

Embedded ImagePeople:

231 premenopausal women (age 35–47 years) with normal periods in the past three months, with no history of depression, and no current diagnosis of depression (Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (PRIME-MD), and Center of Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) score <16). Exclusion criteria: no ovaries; uterus not intact; use of psychotropic or hormonal medication; pregnancy or breast feeding; serious conditions known to affect ovarian function (such as endometrial cancer); or alcohol or drug abuse in the previous year.

Embedded ImageRisk factors:

Menopausal status (Stages of Reproductive Aging Workshop criteria; premenopausal (menstrual cycle length 22–35 days) v transition (change of …

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  • For correspondence: Ellen W Freeman, PhD, Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 3701 Market Street, Suite 820 (Mudd), Philadelphia, USA; freemane{at}

  • Source of funding: National Institutes of Health.

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