Objective: This study assesses the extent to which women with and without major depression differ by demographic, familial, and occupational characteristics.
Method: From a community-based sample, the authors identified 332 women with and 644 women without current or past major depression based on Structured Clinical Interviews for DSM-IV. Demographic and background interviews were conducted in-person.
Results: Depressed women were more likely to have gained >or =35 lbs between age 18 and study enrollment (OR=1.6, 95% CI 1.1-2.5), experienced divorce (OR=2.0, 95% CI 1.4-2.8), or changed occupations (OR=1.5, 95% CI 1.1-2.1) compared with non-depressed women. Compared with women with no brothers, those with > or =1 brothers were less likely to have a history of depression (OR=0.8, 95% CI 0.6-1.1), whereas compared with women with no sisters, those with > or =1 sisters were more likely to have current or past depression (OR=1.4, 95% CI 1.0-1.9). These findings were not influenced by family sibship size.
Conclusion: These results illustrate demographic differences between women with and without major depression and that sibship gender rather than size may also influence risk.