Longitudinal association of vasomotor symptoms and psychosocial outcomes among postmenopausal women in the United States: A population-based study

Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
Menopause (New York, N.Y.) (Impact Factor: 3.36). 09/2010; 17(5):917-23. DOI: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181d824c8
Source: PubMed


Vasomotor and psychosocial symptoms persist as common manifestations of menopause; their explicit association is unclear. We investigated this association among postmenopausal women over a 2-year period.
The Menopause Epidemiology Study is a cross-sectional population-based study of women 40 to 65 years old in the United States. We followed participants who were postmenopausal at baseline and at 2-year follow-up (n = 1,506) in the analyses. The vasomotor and psychosocial domains of the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire were used to assess exposure and outcome. Change in symptoms was defined as the difference in the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire domain score from baseline to follow-up 2 years later. Demographic information, behavioral activities, reproductive history, and medication use were evaluated for effect modification and confounding. Covariate-adjusted linear regression was used to assess the relationship between the change in vasomotor symptoms and change in psychosocial symptoms.
One quarter (n = 375) of the women reported an increase in vasomotor symptoms over the 2-year study period. Twenty-two percent of the women reported an increase in both vasomotor and psychosocial symptoms. Current smoking status was found to be an effect modifier: a one-unit increase in the vasomotor domain was associated with a 0.21-unit (95% CI, 0.12-0.29) increase in the psychosocial domain among smokers; this was stronger (0.29, 95% CI, 0.20-0.39) among past or never smokers.
This study provides further evidence of an association between vasomotor symptoms and psychosocial symptoms using a validated instrument in a population-based study. There is a small increase in psychosocial symptoms with increasing vasomotor symptoms. Clinicians may want to note this association when treating postmenopausal women with either condition.

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    • "Timur and Sahin [5] showed that menopause-specific quality of life was impaired in menopausal women with sleep disturbances. Finally, van Dole et al. [6] found that in postmenopausal period, increasing vasomotor symptoms were associated with a small but significant increase in psychosocial symptoms (e.g. dissatisfaction with personal life). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to identify the prevalence of physical, psychological, and menopause-related symptoms and their association with minor psychiatric disorders in premenopausal, perimenopausal, and postmenopausal women. This was a nested cross-sectional study. Demographic characteristics, education, and climacteric symptoms were investigated. The 20-item Self-Reporting Questionnaire was used to screen for minor psychiatric disorders, with a score of 8 or higher indicating positive screening. We studied 324 Brazilian women aged 36 to 62 years (86 premenopausal women, 156 perimenopausal women, and 82 postmenopausal women). Mean (SD) age was 44.8 (3.6), 46.3 (4.6), and 53.3 (3.8) years, respectively (P < 0.001); 52.4% had 8 years or less of schooling (whereas 22.8% had 4 years or less). Forty-five (28.8%) perimenopausal women and 32 (39%) postmenopausal women were users of hormone therapy; 15 (17.4%) and 21 (13.5%) premenopausal and perimenopausal participants, respectively, were users of oral contraceptives. Hormone therapy and oral contraceptive users were excluded from the analysis of symptom prevalence. Hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness were more prevalent among perimenopausal women (P < 0.001). Fatigue was the most frequent complaint in all groups (61%, 81%, and 88% in premenopausal, perimenopausal, and postmenopausal women, respectively). The variables most frequently associated with positive findings during the screening for minor psychiatric disorders were very low education level and memory loss and irritability. Classic vasomotor complaints were weakly associated with nonpsychotic disease. In turn, perimenopausal women, but not postmenopausal women, were at greater risk of minor psychiatric disorders. Low education level, memory loss, irritability, and the menopausal transition represent risk factors for positive findings in a screening for minor psychiatric disorders.
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