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The role played by depression associated with somatic symptomatology in accounting for the gender difference in the prevalence of depression


Silverstein, B; Edwards, T; Gamma, A; Ajdacic-Gross, V; Rossler, W; Angst, J (2013). The role played by depression associated with somatic symptomatology in accounting for the gender difference in the prevalence of depression. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 48(2):257-263.

Abstract

PURPOSE:
A variety of studies suggest the existence of a distinct phenotype of somatic depression, i.e., depression accompanied by significant somatic symptomatology. Previous research suggests that the gender difference in the prevalence of depression is primarily due to a difference in somatic depression. The aim of this study was to compare the gender difference in the prevalence of somatic depression and of depression not accompanied by significant somatic symptomatology (labelled "pure" depression) in two representative samples, the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication (NCS-R) and the Zurich Study.
METHOD:
The gender difference in lifetime somatic depression was compared to that of pure depression based on analyses weighted back to the general population in two representative samples. The NCS-R analyses involved a narrow definition of somatic depression with items from the DSM criteria for depression--appetite, sleep, and fatigue. The analysis of the Zurich study added headaches, body image issues, and breathing difficulties to the criteria and comparison to atypical depression.
RESULTS:
In both samples, the gender difference in depressive prevalence was due to a large difference in somatic depression with other phenotypes showing little or no gender difference. The gender differences were found to be due to the somatic symptoms rather than the number of symptoms and were much larger for somatic than for atypical depression.
CONCLUSION:
The gender difference in the prevalence of depression results from the higher prevalence among women of a specific phenotype, somatic depression.

Abstract

PURPOSE:
A variety of studies suggest the existence of a distinct phenotype of somatic depression, i.e., depression accompanied by significant somatic symptomatology. Previous research suggests that the gender difference in the prevalence of depression is primarily due to a difference in somatic depression. The aim of this study was to compare the gender difference in the prevalence of somatic depression and of depression not accompanied by significant somatic symptomatology (labelled "pure" depression) in two representative samples, the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication (NCS-R) and the Zurich Study.
METHOD:
The gender difference in lifetime somatic depression was compared to that of pure depression based on analyses weighted back to the general population in two representative samples. The NCS-R analyses involved a narrow definition of somatic depression with items from the DSM criteria for depression--appetite, sleep, and fatigue. The analysis of the Zurich study added headaches, body image issues, and breathing difficulties to the criteria and comparison to atypical depression.
RESULTS:
In both samples, the gender difference in depressive prevalence was due to a large difference in somatic depression with other phenotypes showing little or no gender difference. The gender differences were found to be due to the somatic symptoms rather than the number of symptoms and were much larger for somatic than for atypical depression.
CONCLUSION:
The gender difference in the prevalence of depression results from the higher prevalence among women of a specific phenotype, somatic depression.

Citations

22 citations in Web of Science®
23 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical and Social Psychiatry Zurich West (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:21 Mar 2013 12:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:21
Publisher:Dr. Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag
ISSN:0933-7954
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-012-0540-7
PubMed ID:22752109

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