Prevalence and severity of menopause symptoms and associated factors across menopause status in Korean women

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Objective:The present study investigated the prevalence and severity of menopause symptoms experienced by Korean women aged 44 to 56 years and their associated factors.Methods:A cross-sectional study was performed on 2,201 women aged 44 to 56 years in health checkup centers between November 2012 and March 2013. The 29-item Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire was used to assess vasomotor, psychosocial, physical, and sexual symptoms related to menopause. The guidelines for the classification of reproductive aging stages proposed at the Stages of Reproductive Aging Workshop were used. Multivariable linear regression analyses were performed to identify factors associated with severity of menopause symptoms.Results:Among participants, 42.6% were premenopausal, 36.7% were perimenopausal, and 20.7% were postmenopausal. Although physical symptoms were the most severe menopause symptoms experienced by premenopausal and perimenopausal women, postmenopausal women reported sexual symptoms as the most bothersome. The mean scores for each domain increased from the premenopausal period through the postmenopausal period (P for trend < 0.001). The regression model revealed that age (for vasomotor and sexual symptoms) and obesity (for vasomotor and physical symptoms) were significantly associated with severity of menopause symptoms (P < 0.05). Physically active women had fewer severe physical symptoms related to menopause than inactive women.Conclusions:Postmenopausal women experience the most severe symptoms. Obesity and physical activity are the main modifiable factors associated with symptom severity. Further studies are needed to examine the effects of physical activity promotion and weight control interventions on preventing menopause symptoms in Korean women.

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