Research: S TADBERG and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 25

Abstract

S TADBERG and colleagues, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, East Hospital, University of Goteborg, Sweden studied the prevalence and severity of menopausal symptoms and their treatment in Swedish women.

Background

Methodology

A random sample of 5990 women, resident in Goteborg and born in 1946, 1942, 1938, 1934 and 1930 was obtained from the population register. The women were invited by letter to complete a questionnaire regarding health, reproductive history, menopausal symptoms and severity and treatment of menopausal complaints. The overall response rate was 76%.

Results

Prevalence of menopausal symptoms was as follows: vasomotor symptoms 53%; depression/irritability 57%; sleeping disturbance 52%; muscle/joint pain 57%; loss of libido 37%; and vaginal dryness 21%. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with medium potency oestrogens was being used by 13.4% ; 7.7% were using low potency oestrogens. Previously, medium potency oestrogens had been used by 14%, and 6% had previously used low potency oestrogens. HRT was reported to be effective in the most common menopausal complaints in 70-90% of HRT users. Non-hormonal treatment regimens had been used by 45% of the women ; 31-63% reported a positive effect upon menopausal symptoms.

Conclusion

: Although the majority of peri- and postmenopausal women reported menopausal complaints, only 21% were currently using oestrogens. Non-hormonal treatment modalities were used by 45% of the women and were reported to have a positive effect upon menopausal symptoms in up to 63% of women, compared to up to 90% in HRT users.

References

Stadberg E et al. The prevalence and severity of climacteric symptoms and the use of different treatment regimens in a Swedish population. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 76(5): 442-8. May 1997.

Comment

There is a similarly low percentage of menopausal women taking HRT in the UK, due to a combination of side effects and health concerns regarding taking hormones (see also June Butlins column this issue, page 40).

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