BACKGROUND: In European and US studies, patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) report more stressful life events (SLEs) than controls, but this relationship has rarely been studied in Chinese populations. METHODS: Sixteen lifetime SLEs were assessed at interview in two groups of Han Chinese women: 1970 clinically ascertained with recurrent MDD and 2597 matched controls. Diagnostic and other risk factor information was assessed at personal interview. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated by logistic regression. RESULTS: 60% of controls and 72% of cases reported at least one lifetime SLE. Fourteen of the sixteen SLEs occurred significantly more frequently in those with MDD (median odds ratio of 1.6). The three SLEs most strongly associated with risk for MDD (OR>3.0) preceded the onset of MDD the majority of the time: rape (82%), physical abuse (100%) and serious neglect (99%). LIMITATIONS: Our results may apply to females only. SLEs were rated retrospectively and are subject to biases in recollection. We did not assess contextual information for each life event. CONCLUSIONS: More severe SLEs are more strongly associated with MDD. These results support the involvement of psychosocial adversity in the etiology of MDD in China.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.jad.2011.06.054

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Affect Disord

Publication Date

12/2011

Volume

135

Pages

95 - 99

Keywords

Adult, Asian Continental Ancestry Group, Case-Control Studies, China, Depression, Depressive Disorder, Depressive Disorder, Major, Female, Humans, Life Change Events, Logistic Models, Male, Mental Disorders, Middle Aged, Odds Ratio, Recurrence, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Women