Quality of Life Research

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 535–544

The impact of menopause on health-related quality of life: results from the STRIDE longitudinal study

Authors

    • Division of General Internal MedicineUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
    • Center for Research on Health CareUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Rebecca C. Thurston
    • Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Ron D. Hays
    • Department of MedicineThe David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California
  • Chung-Chou H. Chang
    • Division of General Internal MedicineUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
    • Center for Research on Health CareUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Stacey N. Dillon
    • Division of General Internal MedicineUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Roberta B. Ness
    • University of Texas School of Public Health
  • Cindy L. Bryce
    • Division of General Internal MedicineUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
    • Center for Research on Health CareUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
    • Department of Health Policy and Management, Graduate School of Public HealthUniversity of Pittsburgh
  • Wishwa N. Kapoor
    • Division of General Internal MedicineUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
    • Center for Research on Health CareUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Karen A. Matthews
    • Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11136-011-9959-7

Cite this article as:
Hess, R., Thurston, R.C., Hays, R.D. et al. Qual Life Res (2012) 21: 535. doi:10.1007/s11136-011-9959-7

Abstract

Purpose

We examine the impact of menopausal status, beyond menopausal symptoms, on health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

Methods

Seven hundred thirty-two women aged 40–65, regardless of health condition or menopausal status, were enrolled from single general internal medicine practice. Women completed annual questionnaires including HRQoL, and menopausal status and symptoms.

Results

The physical health composite of the RAND-36 is lower in late peri (45.6, P < .05), early post (45.4, P < .05), and late postmenopausal women (44.6, P < .01), and those who report a hysterectomy (44.2, P < .01) compared to premenopausal women (47.1), with effect sizes of Cohen’s d = .12-.23. The mental health composite of the RAND-36 is lower in late peri (44.7, P < .01), early post (44.9, P < .01), and late postmenopausal women (45.0, P < .05) and those who report a hysterectomy (44.2, P < .01) compared to premenopausal women (46.8), with effect sizes of Cohen’s d = .15–.20. Findings are comparable adjusted for menopausal symptom frequency and bother.

Conclusions

Over a 5-year follow-up period, we found a negative impact of menopause on some domains of HRQoL, regardless of menopausal symptoms. Clinicians should be aware of this relationship and work to improve HRQoL, rather than expect it to improve spontaneously when menopausal symptoms resolve.

Keywords

MenopauseHealth-related quality of lifeHot flashesVaginal drynessWomen’s health

Abbreviations

BMI

Body mass index

HRQoL

Health-related quality of life

ISEL

Interpersonal support evaluation list

LMP

Last menstrual period

OCP

Oral contraceptive pills

STRIDE

Do stage transitions result in detectable effects?

SWAN

Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011