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Medical News & Perspectives
March 21, 2001


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JAMA. 2001;285(11):1432. doi:10.1001/jama.285.11.1432-JMN0321-2A-1

Even though primary care physicians rely on the same diagnostic criteria to detect depression in women and men, the similarities between the sexes seem to end there.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that women are disproportionately affected by depression. Each year in the United States, 12.4 million women compared with 6.4 million men have a depressive disorder, according to the NIMH.

Researchers also have reported that in women, depression has a notably different constellation of symptoms than in men. "With men, it's anger, aggression, road rage, alcohol abuse, and work performance suffers," said Thomas L. Schwenk, MD, chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School.