Research Article| Volume 14, ISSUE 2, P117-126, January 1992

The South-East England longitudinal study of the climacteric and postmenopause

  • Myra Hunter
    Correspondence to: M. Hunter, Unit of Psychology, University of London, Guy's Hospital Medical and Dental Schools, St. Thomas Street, London SEI, U.K.
    Unit of Psychology, University of London, Guys Hospital Medical and Dental Schools, St. Thomas Street. London, U.K.
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      Fifty-six premenopausal women were drawn from a cross-sectional survey of 850 women living in South-East England. They were recontacted 3 years later when 36 met the criterion of being naturally peri- or postmenopausal. Somatic, vasomotor and emotional symptoms, as well as general health, use of medical services and beliefs about the menopause, were assessed on both occasions using the Women's Health Questionnaire (a symptom scale standardized for use with this age group). In general, the cross-sectional findings were confirmed — vasomotor symptoms, sleep problems and to a lesser extent depressed mood increased during the peri- and postmenopause. However, ratings of general health and use of medical services remained unchanged. A stepwise regression analysis was used to predict depressed mood and hot flushes in peri- and postmenopausal women. The results illustrate the importance of previously existing symptoms, stereotyped beliefs and social factors in explanations of climacteric symptoms.


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