Quality of life impairment among postmenopausal women varies according to race

Gynecol Endocrinol. 2009 Aug;25(8):491-7. doi: 10.1080/09513590902972091.


Background: Few studies have addressed the impact of menopausal symptom severity over quality of life (QoL) in Latin American women with different ethnics.

Objective: To assess menopausal symptom severity and the QoL among postmenopausal Colombian women with three different ethnicities.

Method: Data of healthy naturally occurring postmenopausal Hispanic, indigenous and black women aged 40-59 years who participated in a cross-sectional study filling out the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) and a general questionnaire was analysed.

Results: A total of 579 women were included, 153 Hispanic, 295 indigenous and 131 Afro-descendent. Hispanic women had an average age of 55.3 +/- 3.3 years. Indigenous and black women were less educated than the Hispanic ones (2.2 +/- 1.8 and 4.6 +/- 4.4 vs. 6.4 +/- 3.5 years, p < 0.0001). Hispanic women displayed lower total MRS scores (better QoL) when compared to indigenous and black women. Urogenital scoring was worse among indigenous women compared to Hispanic and black women. Black women presented higher MRS psychological and somatic scorings than Hispanic and indigenous women. After adjusting for confounding factors, indigenous and black women continued to display a higher risk for impaired QoL, total MRS score > 16 (OR: 3.11, 95% CI: 1.30-7.44 and OR: 5.29, 95% CI: 2.52-11.10, respectively), which was significantly higher among indigenous women due to urogenital symptoms (OR: 102.75, 95% CI: 38.33-275.47) and black women due to psychological (OR: 6.58, 95% CI: 3.27-13.27) and somatic symptoms (OR: 3.88, 95% CI: 1.83-8.22).

Conclusion: In this postmenopausal Colombian series, menopausal symptoms in indigenous (urogenital) and black (somatic/psychological) women were more severe (impaired QoL) when compared to Hispanic ones.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black People* / psychology
  • Colombia
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Female Urogenital Diseases / ethnology
  • Female Urogenital Diseases / etiology
  • Female Urogenital Diseases / physiopathology
  • Hispanic or Latino* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Groups*
  • Postmenopause* / psychology
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires