Gender differences in climacteric symptoms and associated factors in Korean men and women

Appl Nurs Res. 2018 Jun;41:21-28. doi: 10.1016/j.apnr.2018.03.004. Epub 2018 Mar 3.


Both men and women may experience multifaceted symptoms that are part of natural aging throughout the climacteric period. This study compared the prevalence and severity of climacteric symptoms between genders and identified the underlying clusters of climacteric symptoms and associated factors in midlife men and women. A cross-sectional study was done with 254 middle-aged Korean men (n = 129, M = 50.4) and women (n = 125, M = 49.5). Data were collected by self-administered surveys and analyzed using t-tests, chi-square tests, exploratory factor analysis, and regression analysis. Significant gender differences in overall climacteric symptoms were not detected except for muscle weakness, weight gain, and hot flashes. Climacteric symptoms were clustered as physical, vasomotor-genital, psychological, and metabolic dimensions, with the physical dimension being the most explanatory cluster. A significant gender effect was found only in the metabolic dimension after adjusting for the relevant covariates, and regular eating was significantly associated with all symptom clusters. This study offers evidence that most climacteric symptoms are shared by both men and women and emphasizes the importance of healthier lifestyles in the climacteric transition period. The findings highlight the critical need for integrated assessments of the multifactorial symptoms and of modifying poor lifestyles in both genders throughout the climacteric transition period.

Keywords: Climacteric; Gender issues; Menopause; Symptom cluster.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Andropause*
  • Asians / psychology*
  • Climacteric / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Menopause / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Republic of Korea
  • Sex Factors*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires