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Climacteric. 2012 Dec;15(6):542-51. doi: 10.3109/13697137.2012.658462. Epub 2012 Apr 24.

Menopausal symptoms appear before the menopause and persist 5 years beyond: a detailed analysis of a multinational study.

Author information

1
Institute of Biomedicine, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil, Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Few Latin American studies have described menopausal symptoms in detail by means of a standardized assessment tool. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence and severity of menopausal symptoms and their impact over quality of life among mid-aged Latin American women.

METHOD:

In this cross-sectional study, 8373 otherwise healthy women aged 40-59 years from 12 Latin American countries were asked to fill out the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) and a questionnaire containing personal sociodemographic data. Menopause status (pre-, peri- and postmenopausal) was defined according to the criteria of the Stages of Reproductive Aging Workshop.

RESULTS:

Of all the studied women, 90.9% had at least one menopausal symptom (complaint) that they rated. Muscle and joint discomfort, physical and mental exhaustion and depressive mood were highly prevalent and rated as severe-very severe (scores of 3 and 4), at a higher rate than vasomotor symptoms (15.6%, 13.8% and 13.7% vs. 9.6%, respectively). Of premenopausal women (40-44 years), 77.0% reported at least one rated complaint, with 12.9% displaying MRS scores defined as severe (> 16). The latter rate increased to 26.4% in perimenopausal, 31.6% in early postmenopausal and 29.9% among late postmenopausal women. As measured with the MRS, the presence of hot flushes increased the risk of impairment of overall quality of life in both premenopausal (odds ratio 12.67; 95% confidence interval 9.53-16.83) and peri/postmenopausal women (odds ratio 9.37; 95% confidence interval 7.85-11.19).

CONCLUSION:

In this large, mid-aged, female Latin American series, muscle/joint discomfort and psychological symptoms were the most prevalent and severely rated menopausal symptoms. The symptoms appear early in the premenopause, significantly impair quality of life and persist 5 years beyond the menopause.

PMID:
22530706
DOI:
10.3109/13697137.2012.658462
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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