Moderate-Severe Vasomotor Symptoms Are Associated with Moderate-Severe Depressive Symptoms

Roisin Worsley, Robin J Bell, Pragya Gartoulla, Penelope J Robinson, Susan R Davis

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The association between menopausal vasomotor symptoms (VMS) and depressive symptoms remains controversial. We aimed to examine the associations between moderate-severe VMS and moderate-severe depressive symptoms. Methods: Nationally representative cross-sectional survey of 2,020 noninstitutionalized Australian women aged 40-65 randomly recruited between October 2013 and March 2014. Symptoms were assessed by the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire, the Beck Depression Inventory-II, with score ≥20 defined as moderate-severe depressive symptoms. Cigarette, alcohol, and psychotropic medication use was also assessed. Binge drinking was defined as four standard drinks on one occasion. Results: VMS were classified as moderate-severe for 267 of the 2,020 women (13.3%). After adjusting for multiple factors, including age, partnership status, paid employment, housing insecurity, and body mass index, when compared to women with no or mild VMS, women with moderate-severe VMS were more likely to have moderate-severe depressive symptoms (odds ratio [OR] 2.80, confidence interval [95% CI], 2.01-3.88, p < 0.001). Having moderate-severe depressive symptoms was associated with a greater likelihood of use of psychotropic medications (48.9%, 95% CI, 43.1-54.8 vs. 20.1%, 95% CI, 18.2-22.1, p < 0.001), smoking (25.9%, 95% CI, 20.8-30.9 vs. 12.2%, 95% CI, 10.6-13.7, p < 0.001), and binge drinking at least weekly (15.1%, 95% CI, 11.0-19.2 vs. 10.3% 95% CI, 8.8-11.7, p = 0.015). Conclusion: Moderate-severe VMS are independently and significantly associated with moderate-severe depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)712-718
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Menopause
  • Depression
  • vasomotor symptoms
  • smoking
  • alcohol
  • psychotropic medication

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