Published Papers - Abstract 89

Mishra GD, Brown WJ & Dobson AJ. Physical and mental health: Changes during menopause transition. Quality of Life Research, 2003; 12(4): 405-412

Objective: To measure changes in physical and mental health in six groups of women defined by menopausal status or use of hormone replacement therapy.Design: Longitudinal study with two years follow-up. Participants: 8623 women participating in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, aged 45-50 years in 1996. Main outcome measures: Changes in the eight dimensions of the Short Form General Health Survey (SF-36) adjusted for baseline scores, lifestyle, behavioural and demographic factors.Results: At baseline, mean scores for all dimensions of the SF-36 were highest in pre-menopausal women. There were declines in the SF-36 dimensions in all six groups of women. Declines were largest in physical functioning (adjusted mean change of –4.9, 95% confidence interval –6.2 to –3.5) and physical role limitation (-5.7, 95% CI -8.2 to -3.2) in women who remained peri-menopausal throughout the study period and in women taking hormone replacement therapy at the time of either survey; physical functioning: -5.3 (-6.7 to -3.9), role physical limitation: -7.5 (-9.9 to -5.1). They were smallest in women who remained pre-menopausal; physical functioning: -3.2 (-4.4 to -2.0); role physical limitation: -2.1 (-4.3 to 0.1).Conclusions: Physical aspects of general health and well-being decline during the menopausal transition. Sensitive measures and careful analysis are needed to understand why these changes are worse for peri-menopausal women and those taking hormone replacement therapy.