Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Tied to Depression Risk

Women with POI have a higher lifetime risk for major depression

MONDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Women with primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) appear to be at an increased lifetime risk for major depression, according to a study published online Nov. 3 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

In a cross-sectional clinic-based study, Peter J. Schmidt, M.D., of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues evaluated 174 women with spontaneous 46,XX POI and 100 women with Turner syndrome. The purpose of the study was to characterize the prevalence of psychiatric disorders and the timing of onset of clinically significant depression relative to both the diagnosis of POI and the onset of menstrual irregularity in women with POI.

The investigators found that lifetime histories of depression in POI exceeded rates of depression reported in women with Turner syndrome and community-based samples of women. The investigators also found that the onset of depression frequently occurred prior to the diagnosis of POI but after menstrual irregularity onset.

"POI is associated with an increased lifetime risk for major depression. Attention to the presence of depression in POI should become an important part of the care for these women," the authors write. "The onset of depression frequently occurs after signs of altered ovarian function but before the diagnosis of POI. Thus, in some women the association between POI and depression suggests an overlapping pathophysiology rather than a causal relationship."

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