The Health and Social Context of Menopause Symptoms

Sarah E. Tom, University of California, Berkeley

This paper uses a sample of women from the 1994 sibling wave of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study to examine the relationship between health history, social status, and the experience of bother of menopause symptoms. History of depression, decline in overall health in the past 10 years, and discomfort during menstruation are predictive of reported bother of menopause symptoms. However, menopause status remains the key predictor of vasomotor symptoms. Social status as measured through marital status, presence of children in the household, educational attainment, and employment was not related to the experience of menopause symptoms. Results suggest that the experience of bother of menopause symptoms is situated in broader trends in women's health. It is likely that menopause exacerbates existing psychological and somatic health problems.

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Presented in Poster Session 7