This review describes the biological changes occurring in perimenopause and analyzes epidemiological studies that shed light on the relationship between perimenopause and mood. The role of estrogen as a treatment for depressive symptoms is also examined. We found that a positive association may exist between depressive symptoms and the perimenopause, and that a prior history of depression may be associated with such symptoms. In most of the studies reviewed, the use of estrogen in replacement doses appears to improve depressive symptoms in perimenopausal patients who do not have major depression. We suggest an approach to the treatment of middle-aged women presenting with such symptoms. No careful study of the incidence of DSM-IV major depression associated with perimenopause has been done, and the efficacy of estrogen as a primary or adjunctive treatment for the disorder during perimenopause is unclear.
View details for Web of Science ID 000075739200001
View details for PubMedID 10372280