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Menopause. 1999 Summer;6(2):105-14.

Symptom experience of Filipino American midlife women.

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  • 1Department of Family Health Care Nursing, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, USA.



The purpose of this study was to describe the perimenopausal symptom experience of Filipino American midlife women with particular emphasis upon estrogen-related menopause symptoms (day sweats, hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness).


A cross-sectional, descriptive survey was used to generate symptom experience data for 165 Filipina Americans between the ages of 35 and 56 who self-identified as Filipina American and were English-language proficient. The community-based sample completed questionnaires composed of sample characteristic questions and a 51-item menstrual symptom checklist with menopause-related symptoms embedded in it.


Sample characteristics and symptom experience were compared among age groups of 35 to 39 (n = 39), 40 to 44 (n = 40), 45 to 49 (n = 37), and 50 to 56 (n = 49) and by perimenopausal phase, defined as premenopausal (n = 85), transitional (n = 33), and menopausal/postmenopausal (n = 47). The most reported individual symptoms were "felt energetic" (86.1%) and "well-being" (83.6%). Estrogen-related menopause symptoms were reported as "vaginal dryness" (39.4%), "hot flashes" (37.6%), "day sweats" (27.9%), and "night sweats" (24.2%) by the total sample. Distress associated with estrogen-related menopause symptoms was reported by 17% (n = 28) of all women. Subjects' chi 2 tests indicated that 50-to-56-year-old women were more likely to report fatigue/sleep symptoms, physical symptoms, and estrogen-related menopause symptoms than all other age groups. When compared by perimenopausal phase, transitional women were more likely to report moderate or extreme severity for day sweats. Premenopausal women were more likely to report minimal or mild severity and women in the perimenopausal transition were more likely to report moderate or extreme severity on estrogen-related menopause symptoms.


Filipino American midlife women appear to consider the perimenopausal transition in a positive light and experience little distress associated with estrogen-related menopause symptoms experienced. Findings from this study suggest that Filipina Americans view perimenopausal symptoms as part of a normal life stage that does not warrant concern.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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