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

  • Rachel Hess
  • Rebecca C. Thurston
  • Ron D. Hays
  • Chung-Chou H. Chang
  • Stacey N. Dillon
  • Roberta B. Ness
  • Cindy L. Bryce
  • Wishwa N. Kapoor
  • Karen A. Matthews



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


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.


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.


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.


Menopause Health-related quality of life Hot flashes Vaginal dryness Women’s health 



Body mass index


Health-related quality of life


Interpersonal support evaluation list


Last menstrual period


Oral contraceptive pills


Do stage transitions result in detectable effects?


Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel Hess
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rebecca C. Thurston
    • 3
  • Ron D. Hays
    • 4
  • Chung-Chou H. Chang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stacey N. Dillon
    • 1
  • Roberta B. Ness
    • 5
  • Cindy L. Bryce
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  • Wishwa N. Kapoor
    • 1
    • 2
  • Karen A. Matthews
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of General Internal MedicineUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Center for Research on Health CareUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Department of MedicineThe David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.University of Texas School of Public HealthHoustonUSA
  6. 6.Department of Health Policy and Management, Graduate School of Public HealthUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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