GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Publication Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Academic Program

Master of Science in Clinical Investigation



First Thesis Advisor

Anthony J. Rothschild M.D.


Bipolar Disorder, Menopause, Perimenopause, Postmenopause


Introduction: The late menopausal transition is a time of increased risk of depression in the general population. Nonetheless, mood course during the late menopausal transition in women with bipolar disorder in relatively unknown.

Methods: Mood state data in 519 reproductive age women (5989 clinic visits), 116 late menopausal transition (perimenopausal) women (2046 visits), and 133 postmenopausal women (1,437 visits) with bipolar disorder who were receiving optimized naturalistic treatment in the multisite STEP-BD study over an average of 19.8±15.5 months were analyzed for proportion of clinic visits with syndromal depression, mood elevation and euthymia between the three groups. History of postpartum and perimenstrual mood exacerbation as well as hormone therapy use were evaluated as potential predictors of mood.

Results: No significant difference in the proportion of clinic visits with syndromal depression was found between reproductive age (18.1%), perimenopausal (18.1%) and postmenopausal (19.3%) women. Reproductive age women had significantly greater proportion of visits with syndromal mood elevation (5.3%) compared to perimenopausal (4.1%, Z=2.1, p2(3, N = 9960) = 19.8, p

Conclusions: While proportion of clinic visits with syndromal depression did not differ among the three reproductive groups, thirteen women who had recorded transition from perimenopause to postmenopause showed significantly greater depression than reproductive age, perimenopausal or postmenopausal women. Proportion of visits with euthymia or with syndromal mood elevation decreased from reproductive age to perimenopausal to postmenopausal women. Reported history of mood exacerbation during times of hormonal fluctuation, or current use of hormone therapy, was not significantly associated with depression during the perimenopause. Limitations include women excluded due to absence of menstrual data. Future studies should include hormonal assessments.



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