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Objective: This systematic evidence review evaluates the independent influence of the menopausal transition on mood including depression, anxiety, and other psychological symptoms. Methods: Community-based, prospective cohort studies of mid-life women transitioning through menopause that assessed at least one mood symptom on two or more occasions were identified by searches of MEDLINE (1966-2007) and PsycINFO (1974-2007) databases. Articles were selected based on predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Each study was quality-rated by three authors; poor quality studies were excluded. Results: Nine studies met inclusion criteria. They varied broadly in design, outcome measures, statistical methodology, and in consideration of and adjustment for important confounders. Five found no association between the menopausal transition and depression, negative mood, major depressive disorder, other psychological symptoms, and general mental health. Three found that women entering or completing the menopausal transition were more likely than premenopausal women to be depressed. One found that well-being increased from the early to late menopausal transition. Conclusion: There is no demonstrated pattern of an adverse independent influence of the menopausal transition on mood symptoms in mid-life women. However, the available studies are too methodologically diverse to be definitive. © 2007 International Menopause Society.
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