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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 69-72

Gender differences in somatic symptoms in patients with depression: A comparative study at tertiary care center in North India

Department of Psychiatry, JLN Medical College, Ajmer, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Parth Singh Meena
5, Department of Psychiatry, JLN Medical College, Ajmer, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_140_20

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Introduction: Women suffering from clinical depression often present with prominent somatic complaints. Epidemiological studies have found that the prevalence of somatic depression, but not pure depression, distinguished women from men. The purpose of the study is to evaluate whether somatic symptoms of depression are more prevalent in females than in males. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional analytic study was carried out at a tertiary level referral hospital attached to a medical college in Rajasthan by the department of psychiatry. Consecutive patients (both male and female) suffering from depression were recruited for the study, diagnosed as per the International Classification of Diseases-10. Eighty-two male and 86 female adult psychiatric outpatients with diagnosis of depressive disorder were assessed using Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-17) and Somatic Symptom Scale-Adult (derived from Patient Health Questionnaire Physical Symptoms) to quantify the severity of depression and somatic symptoms, respectively, and compared. Data collected from the patients were analyzed using unpaired t-test and Fisher's exact test. 95% confidence interval and P ≤ 0.05 were used to indicate a significant difference between the groups. Results: No statistically significant difference was found in the severity of depression between male and female patients. Somatic symptom scores were higher in female patients, both on somatic symptom score and HAM-D. Conclusions: Higher prevalence of somatic depression was found in female patients suffering from depression.

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