Objective: To use the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MENQOL) to assess the impact of menopausal symptoms on health-related quality of life in a large US population-based study.
Methods: Participants were recruited from the US population through random-digit-dialing and probability sampling. Analyses included 2703 postmenopausal women 40-65 years old in our Menopause Epidemiology Study. Respondents answered a 30-min questionnaire, including the MENQOL.
Results: Scores for each domain were: vasomotor: 3.2+/-2.2; psycho-social: 3.3+/-1.8; physical: 3.5+/-1.5; sexual: 2.9+/-2.1. There were significant differences in the MENQOL scores by age, smoking, exercise, education, employment status and BMI. Women aged 60-65 years (p<0.0001), with a bachelor's degree or higher level of education (p<0.0001), who exercised at least 3 days a week (p<0.0001), who had never smoked (p<0.0001), with a body mass index < or =25kg/m(2) (p<0.0001), and who had significantly lower scores indicating better quality of life. Hot flashes affected work (46.0%), social activities (44.4%), leisure activities (47.6%), sleep (82.0%), mood (68.6%), concentration (69.0%), sexual activity (40.9%), total energy level (63.3%) and overall quality of life (69.3%).
Conclusion: Symptoms experienced during menopause and socio-demographic characteristics affect the quality of life in postmenopausal women. Hot flashes impact the daily activities of most postmenopausal women, especially those with more frequent/severe symptoms. Treatments that safely and effectively treat these symptoms could improve quality of life among postmenopausal women.