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J Formos Med Assoc. 1997 Oct;96(10):806-11.

Demographic characteristics and medical aspects of menopausal women in Taiwan.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, National Taiwan University Hospital, College of Medicine, Taipei, ROC.


This report describes the medical and demographic characteristics of menopausal women in Taiwan in order to provide information for consideration during future healthcare planning. The medical and demographic data analyzed were taken from officially published materials of the Government of the Republic of China on Taiwan, our own studies, and those of other researchers. In 1994, the average lifespan of men in Taiwan was 71.8 years and that of women was 77.7 years. The age of menarche was 13.6 years and the age of menopause was 49.5 years. Women aged 50 and over accounted for 18.3% of the total female population and 8.9% of the total population in Taiwan. In 1994, 68.9% of women in Taiwan aged 50 and over were married. The most frequently occurring menopausal symptoms in Taiwanese women were lumbago or low backpain (68%), fatigue (59%), impairment of memory (55%), vaginal dryness (50%), and hot flushes and sweating (49%). The spinal bone mineral density of women decreased markedly after the age of 50 years. The prevalence of vertebral fracture in women 65 years and over was 19.8%, which was higher than the 12.5% in men of the same age group. The prevalence of hypertension and coronary heart disease in women 50 years or older was also higher than in men. The most frequent sites of cancer in women in 1992 were the cervix uteri, breast, sigmoid colon and rectum, lungs, liver, stomach, thyroid, ovaries, hemopoietic and reticuloendothelial systems, and skin. There were 14,298 newly reported cases of malignant neoplasms in women in 1992. About 60% of these occurred in women aged 50 years or more. The median age of occurrence of cervix uteri, breast, and ovarian cancers was 48 to 49 years, which is very close to the menopause age. About 30% of menopausal women in Taiwan are currently living without a husband. Although 18.3% of women in Taiwan were at least 50 years old, approximately 60% of all malignant neoplasms in the female population occurred in this group. There is an urgent need for menopausal women in Taiwan to receive psychologic support and comprehensive medical care.

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