Learning Objective 1: describe the distribution of the severity of depression in postmenopausal women.
Learning Objective 2: answer the qusetion of whether posmenopausal depression can be explained by demographic factors, lifestyles factors, or autonomic nervous function.
The purpose of this study was to examine demographic, lifestyles, and physiological factors associated with the severity of depressive symptoms in postmenopausal women.
Baseline data, including demographics, lifestyles variables, and heart rate variability (HRV) from a prospective randomized controlled trial examining the efficacy of a breathing training program on psychosocial functioning and HRV in postmenopausal women with depressive symptoms were analysed. Included in the analyses were 68 women who reported cessation of menstrual cycles for more than 12 consecutive months and scored 10 or greater on the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II).
The participants aged from 45 to 65 with a mean of 57.1 years. The BDI-II score ranged from 10 to 57. BDI-II was not significantly correlated with age (p = 0.974), education (p = 0.944), marital status (p = 0.839), employment status (p = 0.501), smoking (p = 0.824), and exercise habit (p = 0.833). BDI-II scored was significantly correlated to neither one of the parameters of HRV (all P > 0.05).
Depressive symptoms in postmenopausal women may be unrelated to women’s demographic factors, lifestyles factors, and autonomic function. The mechanisms of postmenopausal depression warrant further investigation.