To quantify the association between vulvovaginal atrophy and depression, major depressive disorder, and anxiety.
Women with vulvovaginal atrophy from the Truven Health MarketScan Commercial and Medicare Supplemental Databases (01/2010-09/2016) with ≥365 days of continuous insurance coverage before and after the first vulvovaginal atrophy/dyspareunia diagnosis (index date) were selected. Women with vulvovaginal atrophy were matched 1:3 to women without (controls) according to age, calendar year, health plan, and region. The study period spanned from 12 months before to 12 months after index date. The ratios of diagnosed depression, major depressive disorder, and anxiety among women with vulvovaginal atrophy and the controls were calculated. Logistic regressions adjusting for proxies of menopause were used to compare prevalence.
In all, 125,889 women with vulvovaginal atrophy and 376,057 controls were included (mean age 60.7 [45-101]). The prevalence of depression, major depressive disorder, and anxiety was higher among women with vulvovaginal atrophy compared with controls (23.9% vs 18.9%, 6.3% vs 4.7%, 16.6% vs 11.3%), with prevalence ratios of 1.26, 1.33, and 1.47, respectively (all P
< 0.0001). Highest prevalences and differences were observed in younger women. Findings were consistent when analyzing newly diagnosed conditions. When adjusting for proxies of menopause (insomnia, vasomotor symptoms, dysuria, and estrogen therapy), vulvovaginal atrophy remained significant (prevalence odds ratios; depression 1.23, major depressive disorder 1.22, anxiety 1.39; all P < 0.0001).
Vulvovaginal atrophy is associated with a significantly higher prevalence/incidence of depression, major depressive disorder, and anxiety. The higher prevalence/incidence and greater differences in younger women highlight the need for a multidisciplinary approach and early diagnosis/management of vulvovaginal atrophy.