Perimenopausal depression


Dr. Anita Kant, Chairman & Head Department of Gynae & Obstetrics, Asian Institute of Medical Sciences, Faridabad    31 December 2022

Women diagnosed with depression during the reproductive age, including postpartum depression, are at a higher risk of developing depression at perimenopause, according to a new study published online December 23, 2022 in the journal Maturitas.1


This Registry-based study examined data of 270,613 Danish women obtained from the Danish National Patient Registry to examine the association between postpartum depression and depression during perimenopause. The participants had had a live childbirth before they were 40 years of age, and who lived in Denmark when turning 47 years old between 2007 and 2015.


Out of the 270,613 women included in the study, 7694 (2.9 %) women were diagnosed with perimenopausal depression during the nine years of follow-up. In the unadjusted model, compared to participants with no history of depression, a positive history of postpartum depression was associated with 12 times higher risk of depression during perimenopause (HR 12.14). While women with prior depression at study entry were 13 times more likely to develop depression during perimenopause (HR 13.26). After adjusting for confounding variables, the risk of perimenopausal depression among women with postpartum depression persisted with HR 12.82. But the risk was seen to decrease a bit among women with a history of depression prior to their enrolment in the study (HR 11.91).


This study demonstrates high risk of perimenopause depression among women with pre-existing depression and not just those who experience postpartum depression. However, the risk of depression during perimenopause among women with history of postpartum depression and pre-existing depression was comparable. Women in the reproductive age must be screened for depression and a  history of depression must be elicited. Measures to prevent perimenopausal depression should focus on those with a positive history of depression.




  1. Venborg E, et al. The association between postpartum depression and perimenopausal depression: A nationwide register-based cohort study. Maturitas. 2022 Dec. 23,  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2022.12.001.

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