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Gender and depression: a study of severity and symptomatology of depressive disorders (ICD-10) in general practice


Malene Grubbe Hildebrandt, Department of Psychiatry, Centre for Depression Research, Odense University Hospital, Sdr. Boulevard 29, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark


Objective:  Gender differences in severity and symptomatology of depression in a large and representative sample of depressive patients from general practice were examined.

Method:  During a 2-year study period, 31 Danish general practitioners consecutively assessed patients, aged >18, for depression. A total of 1033 patients (692 female, 341 male) fulfilled ICD-10 criteria for depressive disorders. Gender differences were examined with regard to severity and symptomatology of depression.

Results:  The severity of depression was similar for men and women with the following distribution: 22% mild, 56% moderate and 23% severe depressive episodes. The mean number of symptoms presented was 6.6 of 10 for both genders. There were no gender differences in prevalence of single depressive symptoms.

Conclusion:  No gender differences in the severity or symptomatology of depression were found in a highly representative sample of patients with depressive disorders.