Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the association of a history of major depression (MD) with menstrual problems in a multiethnic sample of midlife women.
Methods: Participants were 934 women enrolled in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, a multisite study of menopause and aging. The outcomes were menstrual bleeding problems and premenstrual symptoms in the year before study entry. The Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnosis of DSM-IV Axis I Disorders was conducted to determine recent and past psychiatric diagnoses. Covariates included sociodemographic, behavioral, and gynecologic factors.
Results: One third of the participants reported heavy bleeding, 20% reported other abnormal bleeding, and 18% reported premenstrual symptoms. One third had past and 11% had recent MD. Past MD was associated with an increased likelihood of heavy bleeding (odds ratio, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.25-2.85), adjusting for recent MD, menopause status, and other covariates. Past MD was not associated with other abnormal bleeding or premenstrual symptoms in the final analysis that adjusted for recent MD.
Conclusions: Midlife women with a history of MD are more likely to report heavy bleeding.