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Disparities in menopausal care in the United States: A systematic review.

Maturitas 2024 May 10
Effective menopausal care constitutes a continuum of symptom management and optimization of medical health, including cardiovascular, bone, and mental health. Menopausal knowledge and prescribing patterns changed significantly after the publication of the Women's Health Initiative. A systematic review was conducted to address three key questions about disparities in menopausal care: 1) What differences in menopausal care are experienced by specific populations? 2) What disparities are there in access to preventive care and symptomatic treatment? 3) What interventions reduce disparities in menopause management? PubMed, PsychInfo, SCOPUS, and EMBASE were queried to identify relevant articles published in the United States between 2002 and 2023. Twenty-eight articles met the review criteria; these included quantitative and qualitative analyses. Symptomatic menopausal patients utilize a range of therapies. Racial and ethnic minorities, veterans, women living with HIV, incarcerated individuals, patients with surgical menopause, and nursing home residents represent specifically studied populations that demonstrate differences in menopausal care. Healthcare professionals may impact access to certain therapeutics, possibly driven by lack of content knowledge or implicit bias. Insurance status and geographic location may also affect menopause management or access to care. Few interventions exist to address disparities in menopausal care. There is an urgent need to understand how patients and providers make menopausal treatment decisions and intervene to mitigate health disparities in menopausal care.

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