Correlates of depressive symptoms among women undergoing the menopausal transition

Lisa Gallicchio, Chrissy Schilling, Susan R. Miller, Howard Zacur, Jodi A. Flaws

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Objective: Studies indicate that approximately 25% of women undergoing the menopausal transition experience depressive symptoms. The purpose of this study was to examine whether menopausal status was associated with the experiencing of depression among midlife women, to assess which demographic and health habit characteristics were associated with depressive symptoms experienced during the menopausal transition, and to analyze the associations between hormone levels and depressive symptoms. Methods: Data from a community-based sample of 634 women aged 45 to 54 years were analyzed. Each participant completed a questionnaire and provided a blood sample that was used to measure estrogen and androgen concentrations by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D). Results: Approximately 25% of the women in the study were experiencing depressive symptoms (CES-D ≥16). The data showed that being a current smoker, having little/no regular physical activity, being in poor health, and reporting a greater number of menopausal symptoms were independently and significantly associated with depressive symptoms. Menopausal status and the measured hormone levels were not significant independent correlates of depressive symptoms. Conclusions: These findings confirm the relatively high prevalence of depressive symptoms among midlife women and suggest that certain demographic, health habit, and menopausal symptom characteristics may be more important correlates of depressive symptoms in midlife than menopausal status and hormone levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-268
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Centers for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Hormones
  • Menopause
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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