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Chronic medical conditions and reproducibility of self-reported age at menopause among community-dwelling women

de Vries, Heather F. MSPH1,2; Northington, Gina M. MD, PhD3; Kaye, Elise M. BA1,2; Bogner, Hillary R. MD, MSCE1,2

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31821f92f2
Original Studies

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the association between chronic medical conditions and reproducibility of self-reported age at menopause among community-dwelling women.

Methods: Age at menopause was assessed in a population-based longitudinal survey of 240 women twice, in 1993 and 2004. Women who recalled age at menopause in 2004 within 1 year or less of age at menopause recalled in 1993 (concordant) were compared with women who did not recall age at menopause in 2004 within 1 year of age at menopause recalled in 1993 (discordant). Type of menopause (surgical or natural) and chronic medical conditions were assessed by self-report.

Results: One hundred forty-three women (59.6%) reported surgical menopause, and 97 (40.4%) reported natural menopause. In all, 130 (54.2%) women recalled age at menopause in 2004 within 1 year or less of recalled age at menopause in 1994, whereas 110 (45.8%) women did not recall age at menopause in 2004 within 1 year or less of recalled age at menopause in 1994. Among the women with surgical menopause, the women with three or more medical conditions were less likely to have concordant recall of age at menopause than the women with less than three chronic medical conditions (adjusted odds ratio, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.15-0.91) in multivariate models controlling for potentially influential characteristics including cognition and years since menopause.

Conclusions: Among women who underwent surgical menopause, the presence of three or more medical conditions is associated with decreased reproducibility of self-reported age at menopause.

From the 1Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, 2Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania; and 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Received March 21, 2011; revised and accepted April 13, 2011.

Funding/support: This work was supported by DA026652. Dr. Bogner was supported by MH085880 and MH082799. Dr. Northington was supported by 1P30AG031043-01 and the Women’s Reproductive Health Research Award (K12-HD-00165-11).

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Hillary R. Bogner, MD, MSCE, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 3400 Spruce Street, 2 Gates, Philadelphia, PA 19104. E-mail: hillary.bogner@uphs.upenn.edu

©2011The North American Menopause Society