Female Depression Linked to Sex-Specific Genetic Differences and Metabolic Disorder

Female Depression Linked to Sex-Specific Genetic Differences and Metabolic Disorder

Women are reportedly twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression than men, according to many reports.

Furthermore, there are gender-specific distinctions between male and female genes and the way that they relate to depression, according to a recent sex-specific study from McGill University.

In this study, including over 270,000 people, the researchers discovered that sex-specific prediction approaches were more reliable than non-specific prediction methods for predicting a person’s genetic risk of getting depression.

In comparison to males, females had 11 DNA regions connected to depression, while males had just one.

Additionally, they discovered a direct relationship between depression and metabolic disorders in women, which is crucial to take into account while treating depressed women.

Researchers discovered that despite the biochemical mechanisms of sadness being the same in both sexes, certain genes were associated with each sex.

Future depression therapies that are sex-specific may be found using this knowledge.

The lead author, Dr. Patricia Pelufo Silveira, says that “This is the first study to describe sex specific genetic variants associated with depression, which is a prevalent disease in both males and females. The findings are important to inform the development of particular therapies that will benefit men and women alike while accounting for their differences. In the clinic, the presentation of depression is really different for men and women, as well as their responses to treatment, but we have really little understanding of why it happens at the moment.”

147 genes were substantially related to generalized depression in the entire group, 64 in females and 53 in men, according to gene-based analysis.

A universal biological process called “Regulation of Gene Expression” was also identified through the study, however sex-specific molecular processes were also speculated.

In the end, sex-specific polygenic risk scores for depression performed better in the prediction of broad major depressive disorder than total and the opposite sex PRSs.

These findings support the existence of sex-dependent epigenetic mechanisms for clinical depression and other diseases that co-occur with it.


Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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