Depression symptoms gender-specific: study [2015/12/30 14:12]

Depression symptoms such as physical fatigue and loss of sexual desire have been shown to be significantly gender-specific in South Korea, according to a study on Monday.

In the joint study by Seoul National University, Inha University and Kyungpook National University, the number of Korean women who experienced physical fatigue when clinically depressed was 2.8 times higher than their male counterparts. Meanwhile, the number of depressed men who experienced diminished sex drive was twice as high as women with the same mental condition.

The research analyzed government data that surveyed 18,807 Koreans nationwide in 2001, 2006 and 2011. The data showed that women were more vulnerable to depression, with 397 women diagnosed compared to 110 men. While men were more prone to insomnia and loss of sexual desire, women were much more prone to physical fatigue, hypersomnia and suicidal thoughts than their male counterparts.

Researchers of the study claimed in the report that there may be biological factors, rather than social or cultural, that make depression symptoms notably gender-specific. “It is possible that energy metabolism level, which is linked to depression, works differently for men and women,” said professor Jang Seong-man who participated in the research. “There is also another possibility that estrogen may be linked with neurosecretory dysfunction.”

A separate study by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs showed in July that Korean women, especially those who are financially and socially vulnerable, are much more prone to depression than their male counterparts. According to the study, 9.1 percent of all Korean women develop the condition at least once in their lives, but only 4.3 percent of Korean men experience the same.

The study also discovered that a woman`s socioeconomic status and education level are closely linked to her chance of developing depression. While 24.8 percent of Korean women who belong to the poorest 25 percent of the population suffered from the disease, only 13.8 percent of those in the wealthiest 25 percent experienced the same.

Also, Korean women who never attended high school were 2.26 times more likely to develop depression than women who attended university. Korean women who are unemployed -- including housewives and students -- were the most prone to the disease, while those who work in professions that do not require physical labor were least likely to be depressed.
출처: 헤럴드미디어 영자신문 코리아헤럴드 (www.koreaherald.com)