Menopausal Hormone Therapy May Improve Depression Symptoms

Authors say more studies are needed to understand ideal timing window for treatment initiation
Menopausal Hormone Therapy May Improve Depression Symptoms
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 28, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) improves depressive symptoms among women seeking specialized menopause care, according to a study published online Feb. 20 in Menopause.

Rahavi Gnanasegar, from St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton in Ontario, Canada, and colleagues assessed the interval change in depressive symptoms after initiation of MHT treatment. The analysis included 170 women seeking care at a Canadian specialized menopause clinic who completed a questionnaire at baseline and at three-month and 12-month follow-up visits.

The researchers observed a high rate of depressive symptoms in those seeking specialized menopause care (62 percent). There was a significant association between MHT use and improvement in depressive symptoms, both alone and in addition to an antidepressant medication. Higher depression scores were associated with younger age, lower education attainment, and smoking. The investigators note that more studies are needed to understand the ideal timing window for treatment initiation.

"This study showed a beneficial effect of hormone therapy on mood symptoms during menopause when used alone and a synergistic effect when used in combination with antidepressants," Stephanie Faubion, M.D., medical director of the North American Menopause Society, said in a statement. "It also highlights the high prevalence of mood symptoms during this transition and the need to address women's symptoms holistically rather than having a singular focus on hot flash management."

Two authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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