Factors relating to insomnia during the menopausal transition as evaluated by the Insomnia Severity Index

Masumi Arakane, Cindy Castillo, María F Rosero, Ricardo Peñafiel, Faustino R Pérez-López, Peter Chedraui
Maturitas 2011, 69 (2): 157-61

BACKGROUND: Although the menopause associates to poor sleep quality, insomnia severity data in the menopausal transition is scarce or lacking.

OBJECTIVE: To assess insomnia prevalence, severity and related factors in mid-aged women.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study 340 women (40 to 59 years) completed the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and a general questionnaire containing personal/partner data. Hot flush presence and intensity was also assessed with the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS).

RESULTS: Median age of the sample was 48.0 years, with 63.5% having lower education and 52.9% being postmenopausal. At the moment of the survey 7.1% were on hormone therapy, 8.2% on phytoestrogens and 2.1% on psychotropic drugs. A 63.8% were abdominally obese (waist circumference > 88 cm) and 65.5% sedentary. According to item 1 of the MRS, 60.9% presented hot flushes, graded in 17.4% as severe-very severe. Regarding the partner (n=255), erectile dysfunction was present in 23.9%, premature ejaculation 37.6%, 35.3% abused alcohol and 42.4% were faithful. The ISI tool displayed a high internal consistency (alpha Cronbach coefficient=0.87), identifying 41.5% of women with some degree of insomnia (Total ISI score ≥8) further categorized as sub-threshold or mild (32.0%), moderate (7.4%) and severe (2.1%). Multiple linear regression analysis obtained two best fit models predicting total ISI scores, one not including and one including partner data. In the first model, hot flush severity, psychotropic use and sedentarism displayed significant positive correlations with total ISI scores. In the second, hot flush intensity, psychotropic drug use and male erectile dysfunction positively correlated whereas partner faithfulness inversely with ISI scores.

CONCLUSION: In this mid-aged series insomnia severity was related to female and partner factors; several of which are susceptible of intervention.

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