Depressive symptoms and their risk factors in midlife women in the Middle East: a systematic review

M. Azizi, E Fooladi, M. Masoumi, T. Geran Orimi, F. Elyasi, S. R. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Women may experience different menopausal symptoms across different cultures around the world. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and contributing factors of depression in midlife women in the Middle East. Methods: Electronic databases including PubMed, Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Web of Science, SCOPUS, and Google scholar were searched. The quality of articles was assessed by using the risk of bias tool. Results: Sixteen articles were used for this review. The prevalence for depressive symptoms in perimenopausal women is higher than in premenopausal women. The overall data also suggest that depressive symptoms may be more prevalent in postmenopausal women than in premenopausal women. Studies reported sociodemographic, physical, psychological, cultural and sexual risk factors for depressive symptoms in middle-aged women. Risk of bias for a majority of the studies conducted in the Middle Eastern region on depression in midlife was moderate. Conclusion: Consistent with other areas in the world, midlife women in the Middle East region are at higher risk for depression due to the presence of different factors. High-quality longitudinal studies of representative samples, using validated questionnaires, are needed to provide more accurate prevalence data and the association between menopause and menopausal symptoms in women in the Middle East.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018


  • depressive symptoms
  • Middle East
  • midlife women
  • Prevalence
  • risk factors

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