Evaluation of the presence and severity of menopausal symptoms among postmenopausal women screened for the metabolic syndrome

Peter Chedraui, Faustino R Pérez-López, Luis Hidalgo, Diego Villacreses, Andrea Domínguez, Gustavo S Escobar, Andrea R Genazzani, Tommaso Simoncini
Gynecological Endocrinology 2014, 30 (12): 918-24

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (METS) increases after the menopause. Reports indicate that the METS and its components, especially obesity, enhance the intensity of menopausal symptoms.

OBJECTIVE: Assess the frequency and severity of menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women. Factors related to the symptom severity were also analyzed including depressive and metabolic status.

METHODS: A total of 204 natural postmenopausal women (40-65 years) participating in a METS screening program were asked to fill out the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and a general socio-demographic questionnaire containing personal and partner data. Criteria of the American Heart Association were used to define the METS.

RESULTS: Median age of the whole sample was 56 years. A 52.9% presented the METS, with 37.3% presenting hyperglycemia, 51.5% hypertension, 58.3% abdominal obesity, 45.6% high triglyceride and 56.4% low HDL-C levels. Total and subscale MRS scores did not differ in accordance to the presence or not of the METS. The three top prevalent menopausal symptoms were muscle and joint problems (87.2%), physical and mental exhaustion (72%) and depressive mood (64.7%). A 19.6% of women presented total MRS scores above 16 defined as severe. Multivariate linear regression analysis determined that anxiety (higher HADS anxiety subscale scores) was significantly and positively correlated with all components of the MRS (Total and subscale scores). Higher total MRS scores correlated positively with abdominal perimeter and higher parity. Somatic scores correlated inversely with female education and positively with psychotropic drug use; and psychological MRS scores positively correlated depressed mood (higher HADS depressive subscale scores) and abdominal perimeter.

CONCLUSION: In this postmenopausal sample, severity of menopausal symptoms correlated to abdominal obesity, mood and other personal aspects.

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