(HealthDay News) — A substantial proportion of non-pregnant women of childbearing age have untreated depression, according to a study published online March 8 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Nan Guo, PhD, from Stanford University in California, and colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (2007 to 2014) to identify 3705 non-pregnant women of childbearing age. Depression was assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire 9.

The researchers found that the overall prevalences of major and minor depression were 4.8 and 4.3%, respectively. Antidepressant use prevalence among women with major depression and minor depression were 32.4 and 20.0%, respectively. Major depression was most strongly associated with government insurance (adjusted relative risk [aRR], 2.49) and hypertension (aRR, 2.09). Factors associated with minor depression were education less than high school (aRR, 4.34) and high school education (aRR, 2.92).

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“Our analysis indicates that one in 20 non-pregnant women of childbearing age experience major depression,” the authors write. “Antidepressants are used by one-third of those with major depression and one-fifth of those with minor depression.”


  1. Guo N, Robakis T, Miller C, Butwick A. Prevalence of depression among women of reproductive age in the United States. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2018 March 8. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002535 [Epub ahead of print]