, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 933-946

Quality of Life in Diverse Groups of Midlife Women: Assessing the Influence of Menopause, Health Status and Psychosocial and Demographic Factors

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Abstract

This paper examines whether menopausal status is associated with global quality of life (QOL) among women aged 40–55 and whether this association varies by race/ethnicity. We further examine the contributions of other health-related and psychosocial factors to QOL and whether these associations vary by racial/ethnic group. Analyses are based on 13,874 women who participated in the multi-ethnic, multi-race study of mid-aged women called the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN). Study participants completed a 15-min telephone or in-person interview that contained questions on a variety of health-related topics. Items of interest for these analyses include global QOL, menstrual history (to assess menopausal status), sociodemographics, health status, lifestyle, and psychosocial variables. Results showed that in unadjusted analyses, early perimenopausal women reported lower QOL compared with premenopausal women, but menopausal status was no longer associated with QOL when analyses were adjusted for other variables. In multivariable models, being married and having low levels of perceived stress were associated with better QOL across all racial/ethnic groups. While there were many consistencies across racial/ethnic groups, we also found that the nature of the associations between QOL and education, marital status, perceived stress and social support varied across racial/ethnic groups.