Depression in midlife women

Maturitas. 2016 Dec:94:149-154. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2016.09.004. Epub 2016 Sep 16.


Depression is one of the leading causes of disease-related disability in women, and they are nearly twice as likely as men to suffer from an episode of depression. The difference begins in early life and persists through to mid-life, and as such, these reproductive years have been labelled by some as a 'window of vulnerability'. The prevalence has been reported to be particularly high during the menopausal transition, but there is no consensus supporting a direct association with reproductive status. This may be partly due to methodological limitations and inconsistencies in the available studies, resulting from a large number of confounding factors. In addition, relationships between sex hormones and the neurotransmitters purported to be responsible for depression are complex. What appears to be universally accepted is that treatment, with oestrogen, for low mood in women during midlife years may be beneficial, and should be considered.

Keywords: Depression; Midlife; Receptor polymorphisms; Sexual dimorphism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Estrogens
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menopause / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence


  • Estrogens