Premature Menopause May Raise Risk of Depression

HealthDay News — Premature menopause may increase a woman’s risk of depression, according to research published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Marios K. Georgakis, MD, of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece, and colleagues reviewed the results of 14 studies that included 67,714 older women.

Those whose menopause began when they were 40 and older had a lower risk of depression later in life than those with premature menopause. The findings suggest “a potentially protective effect of increasing duration of exposure to endogenous estrogens as assessed by age at menopause, as well as by the duration of the reproductive period,” the authors write.

“These findings could have a significant clinical effect by allowing for the identification of a group of women at higher risk for depression who may benefit from psychiatric monitoring or estrogen-based therapies,” the researchers conclude.


Georgakis MK, Thomopoulos TP, Diamantaras A, et al. Association of Age at Menopause and Duration of Reproductive Period With Depression After Menopause: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015; doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2653.