Women are prone to depression which is linked to seasonal changes while men are not, a study by the University of Glasgow has claimed.

Researchers looked at the link between seasonality and depressive symptoms as well as low mood, anhedonia, tenseness and tiredness in 150,000 people in the UK.

They found that anhedonia, low mood and tiredness peaked in winter among women while shorter days were associated with higher low mood and anhedonia. Researchers believe the findings are important in recognising and treating depression.

“This very large, population-based study provides evidence of seasonal variations in depressive symptoms which appear to be more pronounced in women than in men,” said Daniel Smith, professor of psychiatry at the University of Glasgow.

“We don’t yet fully understand why this should be the case, but it was interesting that the changes were independent of social and lifestyle factors, perhaps suggesting a sex-specific biological mechanism. Clearly, this is a complex but important area which requires further study.

“Clinicians should be aware of these population-level sex differences in seasonal mood variation, to aid the recognition and treatment of depressive symptoms across the calendar year.”