Change in health-related quality of life over the menopausal transition in a multiethnic cohort of middle-aged women: Study of Women's Health Across the Nation. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine changes in health-related quality of life (HRQL) during the menopausal transition, controlling for chronological aging, symptoms, and other covariates. METHODS: This was a prospective, longitudinal study of women aged 42 to 52 years at baseline recruited at seven US sites (N = 3,302) in the multiethnic Study of Women's Health Across the Nation. Women eligible for the cohort had an intact uterus, had at least one ovary, were not currently using exogenous hormones, were either premenopausal or early perimenopausal, and were self-identified as one of the study's designated racial/ethnic groups. Data from the baseline interview and six annual follow-up visits are reported. HRQL was assessed with five subscales from the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey, with reduced functioning defined as being in the lowest 25% on a subscale. Covariates included symptoms, medical conditions, sociodemographics variables, physical activity, and psychological factors. RESULTS: With adjustment for baseline age, chronological aging, and relevant covariates, the odds of reduced role-physical functioning were significantly greater at late perimenopause (odds ratio, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.08-1.99) and postmenopause (odds ratio, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.09-2.04) compared with premenopause. Menopause status was unrelated to bodily pain, vitality, role-emotional, or social functioning. Hormone therapy users were more likely to report reduced functioning. Other variables significantly related to HRQL across all domains included vasomotor symptoms, urine leakage, poor sleep, arthritis, depressed mood, perceived stress, and stressful life events. CONCLUSIONS: The menopausal transition showed little impact on HRQL when adjusted for symptoms, medical conditions, and stress.

published proceedings

  • Menopause

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Avis, N. E., Colvin, A., Bromberger, J. T., Hess, R., Matthews, K. A., Ory, M., & Schocken, M.

citation count

  • 209

complete list of authors

  • Avis, Nancy E||Colvin, Alicia||Bromberger, Joyce T||Hess, Rachel||Matthews, Karen A||Ory, Marcia||Schocken, Miriam

publication date

  • September 2009