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Int Rev Psychiatry. 2010;22(4):363-9. doi: 10.3109/09540261.2010.500868.

Some considerations on women's mental health in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Department of Psychiatry, CES University, CES Health Studies Center, Medellin, Colombia.


The mental health status of women in Latin America depends on several social determinants: unequal access to education and work and its benefits, as well as exposure to violence and lack of proper reproductive health impinge on women's psychological well-being. A review of the epidemiological studies on mental health in the region shows a paucity of gender disaggregated data which hinders analyses. However, depression and anxiety are twice as prevalent in women, post traumatic stress disorder is common in the regions that have been exposed to political violence, suicide is an important cause of death in the reproductive years and alcohol and drug use are increasing among younger women. Given the current risks for mental health for girls and women in the region, it is important that research in this area be fostered and it is even more important that gender as it relates to health be included in the curricula of health professionals.

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