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Background: Menopausal experience differs among women with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds and may impact quality of life. Some women with severe menopausal symptoms seek medical help to alleviate menopause-related symptoms.
Purpose: This study examined the demographic characteristics and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of Taiwanese women experiencing menopausal symptoms and examined associations between menopausal symptoms and, respectively, poor HRQOL and healthcare resource utilization.
Methods: This cross-sectional study used data from the 2005 National Health Interview Survey in Taiwan, which used a multistaged stratified systematic sampling scheme. A total of 4,437 women aged 35-64 years were analyzed. We used multivariable logistic regression models to identify variables significantly and independently associated with the presence of menopausal symptoms. We also used the model to assess the odds of poor HRQOL and healthcare resource utilization in women with menopausal symptoms compared with those without.
Results: Eight hundred and forty-six women (19.1%) reported experiencing menopausal symptoms. Age, religion, smoking, exercise, and comorbidity were independently associated with the presence of such symptoms. The propensity score-adjusted odds ratio of poor physical HRQOL, poor mental HRQOL, use of outpatient, traditional Chinese medicine and emergency room services, and hospitalization for women with menopausal symptoms were 1.85 (95% CI [1.54, 2.21]), 1.66 (95% CI [1.40, 1.97]), 1.39 (95% CI [1.18, 1.63]), 1.73 (95% CI [1.37, 2.18]), 1.44 (95% CI [1.15, 1.81]), and 1.36 (95% CI [1.02, 1.81]), respectively, compared with those without symptoms.
Conclusions: Nearly one fifth of women aged 35-64 years in Taiwan experience menopausal symptoms. The presence of menopausal symptoms increases the likelihood of poor HRQOL and healthcare resource utilization even after controlling for possible confounders.
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