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Hum Reprod. 2002 May;17(5):1379-85.

Health profile of middle-aged women: The Women's Health in the Lund Area (WHILA) study.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Lund University Hospital, S-221 85 Sweden.

Erratum in

  • Hum Reprod. 2003 Jan;18(1):222..



Middle-aged women experience various health-related problems. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impacts of menopause status and hormone intervention on women's health.


In an ongoing, population-based study, 4943 women, born 1935 to 1945 and living in the Lund area of Southern Sweden, were included in this analysis. They completed a generic questionnaire pertaining to socio-demographic background and current health-related symptoms. Among the cohort, 9% of women were pre-menopausal (PM), 52% were post-menopausal without hormone replacement therapy (PMO) and 39% were current hormone replacement therapy users (PMT).


Hot flushes and vaginal dryness were strongly related to menopausal status. The prevalence of somatic symptoms worsened progressively from the groups of PM to PMO to PMT. The most abundant complaints were headache and muscle-skeletal-joint problems. A total of 85% of women experienced psychological problems. Contrary to our expectation, a poorer profile of psychological health was found in the PMT group when compared with the PMO group.


The high prevalence of symptoms in middle-aged women could be attributed to age, hormonal influence as well as personality.

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