(HealthDay News) – There is a higher risk of depression before and a lower risk after the final menstrual period (FMP), according to a study published online Nov. 13 in JAMA Psychiatry.
Ellen W. Freeman, PhD, from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined within-woman changes in depressive symptoms during a 14-year period around menopause in a population-based sample of 203 late-reproductive-age women who were premenopausal at baseline and reached natural menopause.
The researchers observed a decrease in the prevalence of high scores on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, from 10 years before to eight years after the FMP, with an approximate decrease of 15% of baseline per year. In the years before and after the FMP, the risk of depressive symptoms was higher and lower, respectively, relative to the FMP. Compared to women with no history of depression, for women with a history of depression, the likelihood of depressive symptoms was 13-fold higher overall and eight-fold higher after menopause. The risk of depressive symptoms decreased after the FMP for women who first experienced depressive symptoms approaching menopause, with a significantly reduced risk in the second year after menopause.
“The FMP was pivotal in the overall pattern of decreasing depressive symptoms in midlife women, with higher risk before and lower risk after the FMP,” the authors write.
Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.