The purpose of this research study is to examine the predictors of the beneficial effects of estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) on depressive symptoms and cardiovascular health during the menopause transition. There is evidence that a history of depression before menopause will predict both the course of depressive symptoms and cardiovascular risk during the menopause transition. A history of depression may also predict the benefits of ERT in perimenopausal women.
We are currently enrolling two groups of women:
1) Women who have had more than one experience with depressive episodes in the past but who are currently not suffering from depression
2) Women who have never suffered from depression
Eligible women will be randomly assigned (i.e., by chance) to either transdermal ERT (a skin patch containing 17b-estradiol) or placebo (a skin patch containing an inert substance).
Participants will be involved in the study for 12 months. Four visits to UNC will be necessary over the 12-month period.
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