Depressive symptoms in postmenopausal women: results from the MEDIS Study

Women Health. 2014;54(5):389-401. doi: 10.1080/03630242.2014.897678.


Data regarding the factors associated with depressive symptoms are limited, especially in postmenopausal women. The aim of this study was to investigate to what extent depressive symptoms were present in postmenopausal women, to explore characteristics associated with depressive symptoms and to determine if time since menopause was independently associated with depressive symptoms. Data collected within the Mediterranean Islands (MEDIS) Study, a health and nutrition survey of elderly people living on Mediterranean islands was used. A total of 851 postmenopausal women living in various Greek islands, Cyprus, and Malta participated in the study. Depressive symptoms were evaluated using the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Age-adjusted logistic regression analysis showed that a year's increase in the time since menopause increased the likelihood of postmenopausal women having severe depressive symptoms by 3% (odds ratio [OR] per 1 year = 1.03, 95% CI 1.001-1.05). This positive association was also evident when other potential confounding factors (i.e, living conditions, financial status, physical activity, adherence to the Mediterranean diet, smoking habits, and several clinical conditions) were also taken into account in multivariable analyses. Primary health care practitioners and public health care authorities could use the findings of this study to identify depressive symptoms early in postmenopausal women.

Keywords: MEDIS; depressive symptoms; postmenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Diet, Mediterranean
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Logistic Models
  • Mediterranean Islands
  • Odds Ratio
  • Population Surveillance
  • Postmenopause / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors