Sex differences in depression and anxiety disorders: Potential biological determinants Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression
  • Sex Characteristics


  • The phenomenon of higher rates of affective disorders in women illustrates many of the difficulties as well as promises of translating preclinical models to human disorders. Abnormalities in the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis and the sympathoadrenomedullary system have been identified in depression and anxiety disorders, and these disorders are clearly precipitated and exacerbated by stress. Despite the striking sex difference in the prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders, attempts to identify corresponding sex differences in stress response reactivity in animal models have met with limited success. Processes which may contribute to increased rates of affective disorders in women are greater fluxes in reproductive hormones across the life span, and increased sensitivity to catecholamine augmentation of emotional memory consolidation.

publication date

  • November 2006



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2006.06.031

PubMed ID

  • 16920114

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 534

end page

  • 8


  • 50


  • 4