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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2015 Sep;24(9):713-22. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2014.5177. Epub 2015 Jul 22.

The Association Between Vulvovaginal Atrophy Symptoms and Quality of Life Among Postmenopausal Women in the United States and Western Europe.

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1 Kantar Health , New York, New York.
2 Pfizer Inc., Groton, Connecticut.
3 Pfizer Inc., New York, New York.
4 Pfizer Inc., Collegeville, Pennsylvania.



Vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA) is a condition associated with decreased estrogenization of the vaginal tissue, which can result in vaginal dryness, irritation, and dyspareunia. This study quantified the burden associated with VVA symptoms across the United States and Europe and compared this burden with other chronic conditions.


Data were analyzed from the International Women's Health Study, a cross-sectional Internet survey of women aged 40-75 years in the United States and Europe. All postmenopausal women aged 40-75 years were included in the analyses (Germany n=970, Spain n=294, France n=1054, Italy n=387, United Kingdom n=1096, United States n=3267). VVA symptom severity (none, mild, moderate, severe) was assessed using the Menopause Rating Scale and included in general linear models to predict EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) quality of life scores.


The prevalence of VVA symptoms varied between 40.00% (Germany) and 54.42% (Spain), with half of women reporting their symptoms as either moderate or severe. Pooling data from all countries together, each incremental level of severity (none through severe) was associated with a significant decrement in EQ-5D scores (none=0.84 vs. mild=0.81 vs. moderate=0.79 vs. severe=0.74; p<0.05). The decrements in EQ-5D scores associated with moderate to severe VVA symptoms were comparable to those observed in other serious conditions including arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and irritable bowel syndrome.


VVA symptoms are associated with clinically meaningful decrements in quality of life that may be comparable to serious conditions such as arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and irritable bowel syndrome. Improved management of VVA symptoms may be required to alleviate the impact of VVA on the quality of life of affected women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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