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The gender difference in depressive prevalence is due to high prevalence of somatic depression among women who do not have depressed relatives.

Research paper by Brett B Silverstein, Vladeta V Ajdacic-Gross, Wulf W Rossler, Jules J Angst

Indexed on: 10 Jan '17Published on: 10 Jan '17Published in: Journal of Affective Disorders



Abstract

Given that several studies have found the gender difference in depression to be rooted in psychosocial forces and others have shown the difference to be due to a gender difference in somatic depression, we compared the gender difference in somatic depression among respondents who reported no relative depressed with that of all other depressed respondents.Respondents in a representative sample from the Zurich study who met criteria for somatic depression and reported no relatives (first-degree, or parents, or mothers, or fathers in separate analyses) with depression were compared to other depressed respondents as to gender.The gender difference in the prevalence of depression among respondents with somatic depression who reported no relatives with depression (whether the relatives were all first-degree, or any parent, or mothers only or fathers only) was significantly greater than the gender difference in depression among other respondents LIMITATIONS: The measure of depression among relatives was based upon reports of the respondents.All or almost all of the gender difference in depression in this representative sample.is due to a gender difference in somatic depression among respondents who reported no depressed relative. Somatic depression may be a disorder distinct from depression without significant additional somatic symptomatology. If so, it is likely that it should be treated differently.