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Management of depressive symptoms in peri- and postmenopausal women: EMAS position statement

      Highlights

      • The perimenopause is considered to be a time of increased risk for the development of depressive symptoms and major depressive episodes.
      • Depression awareness, detection, diagnostics, personalized treatment and a suitable follow-up schedule need to be integrated worldwide.
      • Treatment comprises antidepressants, psychosocial therapies and lifestyle changes.
      • Although not approved for this indication, menopausal hormone therapy may improve depressive symptoms in peri- but not in postmenopausal women.
      • A stronger evidence base is needed for the use of alternative and complementary therapies.

      Abstract

      Introduction

      Globally, the total number of people with depression exceeds 300 million, and the incidence rate is 70 % greater in women. The perimenopause is considered to be a time of increased risk for the development of depressive symptoms and major depressive episodes.

      Aim

      The aim of this position statement is to provide a comprehensive model of care for the management of depressive symptoms in perimenopausal and early menopausal women, including diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. The model integrates the care provided by all those involved in the management of mild or moderate depression in midlife women.

      Materials and methods

      Literature review and consensus of expert opinion.

      Summary recommendations

      Awareness of depressive symptoms, early detection, standardized diagnostic procedures, personalized treatment and a suitable follow-up schedule need to be integrated into healthcare systems worldwide. Recommended treatment comprises antidepressants, psychosocial therapies and lifestyle changes. Alternative and complementary therapies, although widely used, may help with depression, but a stronger evidence base is needed. Although not approved for this indication, menopausal hormone therapy may improve depressive symptoms in peri- but not in postmenopausal women, especially in those with vasomotor symptoms.

      Keywords

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