Objective: The timing of menopause is associated with multiple health outcomes in female populations including all-cause mortality, heart disease, breast cancer, and osteoporosis. Although research suggests that age at menopause varies in different ethnic groups, data on age at menopause among Hispanic women are limited.
Design: The present cross-sectional study estimates age at natural menopause among a sample of 1,272 Puerto Rican women aged 40 to 59 years who participated in health fairs held in 22 municipalities of Puerto Rico between May 2000 and November 2001. Cox proportional hazard regression analysis was used to characterize age at natural menopause and its association with relevant covariates.
Results: The overall adjusted median age at natural menopause was 51.3 years. Current employment (hazard ratio = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.59-0.95) and parity of two or three children as compared with having no children or one child (hazard ratio = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.54-0.98) were associated with a later menopause.
Conclusions: This study provides a robust estimate of age at menopause for Puerto Rican women, which is similar to overall estimates previously reported for US populations, but higher than estimates for other Hispanic populations. Our results confirm attributes associated with age at menopause and provide information relevant to understanding the potential chronic disease burden of Puerto Rican women as they age.