Research Article| Volume 49, ISSUE 3, P211-219, November 15, 2004

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The age at menopause and associated factors at the health center area in Ankara, Turkey


      Objectives: This study is performed in one health center area in Ankara, Turkey on a women population of 50–65 years in order to demonstrate menopausal status of women, age at menopause and factors related with the age at menopause. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study which has been performed on a women population of 50–65 years. The local population was 17,153 in this area by 2001. All of the household determining forms are screened in order to detect the all of the women who were in 50–65 years group, then name and addresses of the these women’s are listed. There were 1089 women aged 50–65 years who were constituting 7% of the population. After choosing the first name randomly from the list of the women, 1/3 systematic sampling method was used and, the number of the women in the sampling was 363 (95% C.I., ±5% S.E.). The response rate among those eligible women who were contactable during the study was 99% (360/363). Data were collected by interviews through questionnaires. The questionnaire consisted of a series of questions concerning age at menopause, socioeconomic status, age at menarche, age at first pregnancy, regularity of menstrual cycles, parity, duration of breast feeding, use of OCs, BMI, smoking habit, age at menopause of the mother and the sister. Chi-square and t-test methods were used for statistical analyses. Results: 4.2% of the women were in premenopause, 13.3% were in perimenopause, 72.8% were in natural menopause and 9.7% were in surgical menopause. Average age at natural menopause was 47±4.2 years. Education, age at menarche, smoking, age at menopause of the mother and the sister were found to be related with the age at menopause. Conclusions: Ninety-six percent of the women over age of 50 years, are at menopause or perimenopause. The results of this study suggest that, for factors of genetic and age at menarche, there are not many possibilities for the lifestyle changes that would modify age at menopause with the subsequent reduction in risk for chronic diseases, but daughters or sisters of women with an early menopause and women who smoked or less educated could be counselled with respect to family timing.


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