Risk factors associated with intensity of climacteric symptoms in Brazilian middle-aged women: a population-based household survey

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Objective:To determine the factors associated with the intensity of climacteric somatovegetative, psychological, and urogenital symptoms among middle-aged women in the Metropolitan Region of Campinas, Brazil.Methods:A cross-sectional population-based household survey was conducted with 749 women aged 45 to 60 years. The dependent variable was the intensity of menopausal symptoms assessed using the Menopause Rating Scale. The independent variables were sociodemographic data, health-related habits and problems, self-perception of health, and gynecological background.Results:The mean age of the women was 52.5 ± 4.4 years, and the mean age at onset of menopause was 46.5 ± 5.8 years. The intensity of menopausal symptoms was defined using the subscale scores of the median Menopause Rating Scale. Poisson multiple regression for somatovegetative, psychological, and urogenital symptoms showed several associated factors of each subscale, though some factors were common. Factors associated with moderate to severe climacteric symptoms in all the subscales of the Menopause Rating Scale were self-perception of health as “fair”/“poor”/“very poor” (P < 0.01), depression/anxiety (P < 0.01), and osteoarticular diseases (P < 0.01).Conclusions:The severity of climacteric symptoms in the different Menopause Rating Scale domains was related to a broad set of factors. Each Menopause Rating Scale subscale had its own set of factors, but some were common. Presence of chronic diseases, depression or anxiety, and worst self-perception of health were highlighted. A better understanding of these factors may help to not only reduce the effect of climacteric symptoms on the quality of life of middle-aged women, but also identify groups of women who need multidisciplinary health care.

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