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J Affect Disord. 2010 Jul;124(1-2):187-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2009.10.024.

Early-onset Major Depressive Disorder in men is associated with childlessness.

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Laureate Institute for Brain Research, Tulsa, OK, USA.



The self-reported number of children was compared for men and women from the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcoholism and Related Conditions Survey (NESARC). Subjects with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder were compared to those without an axis I disorder. The effect of age, gender, marriage and diagnostic status on number of children was completed using multivariate analyses.


Men with a history of major depressive disorder but not bipolar disorder reported higher rates of childlessness and lower mean number of children. This reduced number of children was related to an early age of onset of MDD. Thirty percent of men with an age of onset of MDD before 22 were childless compared to only 18.9% of men without an axis I disorder (Odds ratio=1.82, 95% CI=1.45-2.27). No effect of mood disorder on number of children was found in women with major depression or bipolar disorder.


This study suggests that an early age of onset of major depressive disorder contributes to childlessness in men.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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