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Climacteric. 2015 Apr;18(2):205-13. doi: 10.3109/13697137.2014.984674. Epub 2015 Jan 7.

Circulating androgens are associated with mood disturbances in young postmenopausal women.

Author information

1
2nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Athens, Aretaieio Hospital , Athens , Greece.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We aimed to evaluate the association between circulating androgens and the presence of psychological symptoms in a sample of healthy middle-aged women.

METHODS:

Psychological and depressive symptoms were evaluated in a total of 207 postmenopausal women, using the Symptom Checklist-90-R (SCL-90R) and the Zung Depression Scale, respectively. We investigated the associations between the SCL-90R and Zung Scale scores, and anthropometric, lifestyle parameters, as well as serum levels of androgens.

RESULTS:

The free androgen index was positively associated with scores of depression (b-coefficient ± standard error (SE) = 0.2 ± 0.2, p = 0.040), anxiety (b-coefficient ± SE = 0.2 ± 0.2, p = 0.028), anger/aggressiveness (b-coefficient ± SE = 0.3 ± 0.2, p = 0.026), psychotism (b-coefficient ± SE = 0.3 ± 0.1, p = 0.013) as well as with the global index of the SCL-90R scale (b-coefficient ± SE = 0.2 ± 0.1, p = 0.036), while sex hormone binding globulin was negatively associated with depression (b-coefficient ± SE = -0.2 ± 0.0, p = 0.046) and psychotism (b-coefficient ± SE = -0.2 ± 0.0, p = 0.047). These associations were independent of vasomotor symptomatology, smoking and hormone therapy intake and were more pronounced in younger (≤ 5.5 years) compared to older postmenopausal women. Levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate were positively associated with interpersonal sensitivity (b-coefficient ± SE = 0.3 ± 0.3, p = 0.042), psychotism (b-coefficient ± SE = 0.4 ± 0.2, p = 0.007) and the global index (b-coefficient ± SE = 0.3 ± 0.2, p = 0.040) in women < 5.5 years postmenopausal. No significant associations were observed between the Zung or Greene Scale scores and levels of androgens.

CONCLUSION:

Higher androgenicity was positively associated with symptoms of anxiety and depression in postmenopausal women. These associations were stronger in women closer to the menopausal transition, a finding which may suggest that menopause rather than aging may mediate the association of androgens with mood disorders.

KEYWORDS:

ANDROGENS; MOOD DISORDERS; POSTMENOPAUSE

PMID:
25394578
DOI:
10.3109/13697137.2014.984674
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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