The influence of age and sex on the prevalence of depressive conditions: A report from the National Survey of Psychiatric Morbidity

P Bebbington, G Dunn, R Jenkins, G Lewis, T Brugha, M Farrell, H Meltzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Women are consistently reported to have a greater prevalence of depressive disorders than men. There is some evidence that the excess of depression is greater during women's reproductive lives. Data from the National Survey of Psychiatric Morbidity were used to test the hypothesis that the excess disappeared in the post-menopausal years and that obvious social explanations for this were inadequate. 9,792 Ss (aged 16-64 yrs) from a random sample of the British population provided data for the analysis. Subjects with ICD-10 depressive episode or mixed anxiety/depression were compared with the remainder. Social variables that were likely to contribute to a post-menopausal decline in depressive disorders were controlled in logistic regression analyses. There was a clear reversal of the sex difference in prevalence of depression in those over age 55. This could not be explained in terms of differential effects of marital status, childcare, or employment status. This large and representative survey adds considerably to the increasingly held view that the sex difference in prevalence of depression is less apparent in later middle age. This may be linked to the menopause, but attempts to explain it in terms of obvious conditions among social variables were not successful. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2003 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74 - 83
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
Volume15
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The influence of age and sex on the prevalence of depressive conditions: A report from the National Survey of Psychiatric Morbidity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this