What is the prevalence of mood disorders during menopause?

Updated: Jan 30, 2019
  • Author: Nita V Bhatt, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Ana Hategan, MD, FRCPC  more...
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Each year in the United States, 1.3 million women reach menopause. An estimated 20% of these women experience depression. [7] The mean age of onset for the menopausal transition is 47.5 years. [4]

Depression is approximately twice as common in women as in men (21% vs 12.7%). Moreover, depressive episodes are more recurrent, longer, worse, and more impairing for women than for men. [30, 31] In addition, the prevalence of dysthymia and minor depression is increased among women. These differences have not been noted for mania. Sex-related differences emerge at the age of 11–15 years. [36]

The racial distribution of perimenopausal depression is not known. However, in countries where older women are highly valued, women experience fewer symptoms overall during menopause.

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