Purpose: Menopausal symptoms are major concerns of postmenopausal women. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and menopause is associated with an increased prevalence of MetS. The purpose of this study was to determine the association between menopausal symptoms and MetS in postmenopausal women.
Methods: We selected 183 women who attended St. Vincent Hospital of the Catholic University of Korea in 2008 and 2009 and divided them into two groups (with and without MetS). Menopausal status was assessed with the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) questionnaire. The body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio were determined, and the serum fasting glucose, lipid profile, and blood pressure were measured in all participants.
Results: Of 183 postmenopausal women, 64 (35.0%) had MetS. A significant increase was observed in the total MRS score and the total somatic symptom subscale score in the MetS group (p = 0.021, p = 0.043, respectively). Vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes and sweating occurred with higher frequency in the MetS group than in those without MetS (p = 0.034). High triglyceride levels and an increase of the number of components of MetS were associated with a higher total subscale score of somatic symptoms (p = 0.044, p = 0.039, respectively).
Conclusions: These results showed that a higher total subscale score and a higher frequency of somatic symptoms such as hot flashes and sweating were present in the MetS group. Larger scale studies are needed to clarify the association between other menopausal symptoms and MetS in postmenopausal women.