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17β-estradiol reduced depressive and somatic symptoms in perimenopausal women
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 QUESTION: In perimenopausal women with clinically important depressive disorders, does 17β-estradiol decrease depressive symptoms?

Design

12 week randomised (allocation concealed*), blinded {clinicians, patients, outcome assessors, and statisticians},* placebo controlled trial.

Setting

A gynaecological clinic and psychiatric outpatient clinic in São Paulo, Brazil.

Patients

50 women who were 40 to 55 years of age (mean age 50 y); had a history of menstrual cycle irregularity or amenorrhoea for < 12 months; had a serum concentration of follicle-stimulating hormone > 25 IU/l; and had been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, or minor depressive disorder. Exclusion criteria were medical illness; hormone replacement therapy or psychoactive drug use in the previous 3 months; or presence of psychotic features or suicidal or severe aggressive behaviour. Follow up was 90%.

Intervention

Patients were allocated to a 17β-estradiol patch, 100 …

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