• depression;
  • epidemiology;
  • public health;
  • female;
  • mental health

Aim:  The aim of the study was to evaluate the association between physiological menopausal symptoms and depression during the pre-, peri-, and postmenopausal period among female Taiwanese aborigines.

Methods:  A total of 672 Taiwanese aboriginal women, aged 40–60 years, were recruited in the interviewing study and classified as pre-, peri-, and postmenopausal according to menstrual bleeding patterns in the previous 12 months. Then, the postmenopausal symptoms, depression, self-perceived health, family support, and associated demographic variables were assessed by questionnaire based on the results of interviewing by research assistants.

Results:  The results revealed that perimenopausal statuses are associated with depression and women with a perimenopausal status had a higher prevalence of depression than those with a premenopausal status. A higher score on physiological postmenopausal symptoms was found to be significantly associated with depression. Furthermore, somatic symptoms were associated with depression for pre-, peri-, and postmenopausal statuses. Moreover, sexual dysfunction and vasomotor symptoms were associated with depression only in the premenopausal status and postmenopausal status, respectively.

Conclusion:  Depression should be routinely evaluated for female Taiwanese aborigines consulting with physicians for menopause symptoms, especially for somatic symptoms. Furthermore, attention should be provided to premenopausal women with sexual dysfunction and postmenopausal women with vasomotor symptoms for depression.