Prevalence and predictors of severe menopause symptoms among HIV-positive and -negative Nigerian women

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We compared the prevalence of menopause symptoms between women living with HIV to their HIV-negative peers and determined predictors of severe menopause symptoms in Jos, Nigeria. This descriptive cross-sectional study included 714 women aged 40–80 years. We compared prevalence and severity of menopause symptoms using the menopause rating scale (MRS). Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the predictors of severe symptoms. Six-hundred and seven (85.0%) were HIV-positive, with a mean duration of infection of 5.6 ± 2.7 years. The mean age of the cohort was 46 ± 5 years. The most prevalent menopause symptoms were hot flushes (67.2%), joint and muscle discomfort (66.2%), physical/mental exhaustion (65.3%), heart discomfort (60.4%), and anxiety (56.4%). The median MRS score was higher for HIV-positive compared to HIV-negative women (p = 0.01). Factors associated with severe menopause symptoms included HIV-positive status (aOR: 3.01, 95% CI: 1.20–7.54) and history of cigarette smoking (aOR: 4.18, 95% CI: 1.31–13.26). Being married (aOR: 0.49, 95% CI: 0.32–0.77), premenopausal (aOR: 0.60, 95% CI: 0.39–0.94), and self-reporting good quality of life (aOR: 0.62. 95% CI: 0.39–0.98) were protective against severe menopause symptoms. We found HIV infection, cigarette smoking, quality of life, and stage of the menopause transition to be associated with severe menopause symptoms. As HIV-positive populations are aging, additional attention should be given to the reproductive health of these women.

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