Research Article: Quality of life in climacteric women assisted by primary health care

Date Published: February 27, 2019

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Geraldo Edson Souza Guerra, Antônio Prates Caldeira, Fernanda Piana Santos Lima de Oliveira, Maria Fernanda Santos Figueiredo Brito, Kelma Dayana de Oliveira Silva Gerra, Carlos Eduardo Mendes D’Angelis, Luís Antônio Nogueira dos Santos, Lucineia de Pinho, Josiane Santos Brant Rocha, Daniela Araújo Veloso Popoff, Christian Veauthier.


This cross-sectional study evaluated the quality of life and associated factors of climacteric women in Brazil using a random and representative sample of women assisted by primary care professionals. We investigated the variables using the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire, MENQOL, whose mean scores were compared using Mann–Whitney and Kruskal–Wallis tests according to the sample characteristics. The variables associated with the outcomes in univariate analyses with a p≤0.2 were jointly evaluated using multiple linear regression. In this study, 849 women ranging in age from 40 to 65 years were evaluated. The predictors of poor quality of life in the vasomotor domain were women with severe climacteric symptoms (p<0.001), increased Body Mass Index (BMI) (p = 0.006), sleep (p = 0.022), and postmenopausal (p<0.001) alterations. For the psychosocial domain, the associated variables were severe climacteric symptoms (p<0.001) and sleep alterations (p<0.001); for the physical domain, the associated variables were severe climacteric symptoms (p<0.001), increased BMI (p<0.001), sleep (p<0.001), and postmenopausal (p<0.001) alterations. Severe climacteric symptoms, low sleep quality, increased BMI, and postmenopausal status were factors that were more associated with impairments in quality of life. With the increase in life expectancy, we suggest that greater attention should be paid to women’s quality of life associated with climacteric symptoms.

Partial Text

Brazil is experiencing a profound change in its age structure, with clear population aging and an increase in the number of women [1]. Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated a life expectancy of approximately 78 years in developing countries by 2015, which would have an impact on the number of climacteric women [2]. Considering this perspective, women will be the main users of the Brazilian public health services.

This is a cross-sectional analytical study conducted between August 2014 and August 2015. The target population was composed of women ranging in age from 40 to 65 years (climacteric period), enrolled in the 73 Basic Health Units (BHUs) in a medium-sized city in the northern region of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

In this study, 849 climacteric women participated, of whom the majority ranged in age from 52 to 65 years (45.0%), were married or in a stable union (62.7%), with schooling periods below 9 years (41.0%). Approximately 44% of the women reported a family income that was below minimum wage. Table 1 presents the main demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the study population.

The present study evaluated the quality of life of climacteric women assisted by the Family Health Strategy teams, registering significantly impaired quality of life, associated with greater intensities of climacteric symptoms, poor sleep quality, increased BMI, and advanced age in different domains of the instrument used. Although the national literature has studies evaluating the quality of life of climacteric women [18–20], records of the MENQOL were not observed, which is indicated as one of the best specific instruments for evaluating the quality of life in this female-relevant phase [10–12,14]. The climacteric represents a phase of important hormonal and social changes in women. As life expectancy increases, the exposure to the consequences of this condition becomes greater, and the need for greater investment in improving the quality of life of climacteric women becomes more critical.




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