EMAS Position Statements and Clincial Guides
- Women's health is increasingly recognized as a global health priority . The menopause, or the cessation of menstruation, is a stage of the life cycle which will occur in all women. The average age at menopause is 51 years. With increasing life expectancy many women will live for several decades after the menopause. However, the menopause can occur much earlier, either naturally, with no identifiable underlying cause , or as a consequence of disease, surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. The resulting estrogen deficiency may lead to menopausal symptoms which, for some, can present considerable difficulties in their working lives, discrimination in the workplace and even unemployment .
- The menopause, or the cessation of menstruation, is a normal stage of life. The average age of the menopause is 51 years. However, it can occur much earlier, either naturally, with no identifiable underlying cause , or as a consequence of disease, surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. In 2020, globally 657 million women were aged 45–59  (Fig. 1). Overall, 47% of these women worldwide contributed to the labor force, but the figures varied both regionally, ranging from 22% to 63%, as well as by age: 64%, 59%, 51%, at age 45–49, 50–54, and 55–59 respectively .
- Vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA), a component of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), is caused by estrogen deficiency. It is characterized by symptoms of dryness, burning, itching and dyspareunia . It is well established that it has a negative impact on a woman's general and sexual quality of life as well as the quality of her personal relationships . VVA is also associated with urinary tract problems, such as frequent urination, urge incontinence and recurrent urinary tract infections. GSM includes both genital and urinary symptoms .
- Urinary incontinence (UI) is defined as a “complaint of involuntary loss of urine” . The prevalence of the condition increases with age, and it is reported to affect 58%–84% of elderly women . The reported prevalence of UI varies widely because of the different definitions and assessment tools for diagnosis employed . The general prevalence is reported to be between 38 % and 55 % in women over 60 years . Despite this high prevalence, UI remains underdiagnosed and undertreated. Up to half of women may not report incontinence to their healthcare provider and this may be due to embarrassment or to the belief that UI is a normal part of aging.
- Women are living longer. The United Nations has estimated that, worldwide, 985 million women in 2020 are aged 50 and over. The figure is expected to rise to 1.65 billion by 2050 . Not surprisingly, the immediate and long-term sequelae of postmenopausal estrogen deficiency and aging present an enormous problem to healthcare systems. There are increasing concerns about non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), osteoporosis, dementia, and cognitive decline, which can adversely affect quality of life and independent living.
- Worldwide, dyslipidemias are one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease, mainly coronary heart disease . Dyslipidemias are also associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke . Dyslipidemias embrace a wide constellation of lipid and lipoprotein abnormalities. Lipoproteins bind lipids and are involved in their transport. Lipid abnormalities include high serum concentrations of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (LDL-C) and/or triglycerides and/or low concentrations of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (HDL-C).
- The European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS) aims to provide holistic consensus advice on the clinical management of menopausal women through its position statements and clinical guides . EMAS’s healthcare model for healthy menopause covers physical, psychological and social functioning, and incorporates disability and disease . This position statement sets out a model of care for the management of depressive symptoms and depressive episodes in peri- and postmenopausal women, integrating services provided by healthcare and allied professionals.