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Menopause:
doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e3182698827
Original Articles

Migration and symptom reporting at menopause: a comparative survey of migrant women from Turkey in Berlin, German women in Berlin, and women in Istanbul

Boral, Şengül MD, MScPH1; Borde, Theda MPH, PhD2; Kentenich, Heribert MD, PhD3; Wernecke, Klaus D. PhD4,5; David, Matthias MD, PhD6

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Abstract

Objective: The goal of this study was to compare perceptions of menopausal symptoms among migrant women from Turkey in Berlin (TB), German women in Berlin (GB), and women in Istanbul (TI). The aim was to analyze findings in light of the possible influences of sociodemographic, psychosocial, and migration-related aspects.

Methods: The study participants (aged 45-60 y) were recruited via random and snowball sampling and surveyed with a structured questionnaire in the German and Turkish languages, which contained questions about their experiences with the menopausal phase and related symptoms (Menopause Rating Scale II), menopausal hormone therapy, and sociodemographic, psychosocial, and migration-related aspects. Statistical analysis was performed with univariate Fisher’s exact test, factor analysis, and multivariate logistic regression.

Results: A total of 963 women participated in the study. Premenopausal/perimenopausal migrant women from Turkey in Berlin most frequently reported severe vegetative complaints (TB, 49.9%; GB, 34.9%; TI, 34.9%) and genital complaints (TB, 39.2%; GB, 32.3%; TI, 29.4%), as defined by factor analysis. In postmenopausal migrant women from Turkey in Berlin, the most frequently reported symptoms belonged to the domain of psychological complaints (TB, 52.7% vs GB, 24.0%; TI, 55.7%). Gradual multivariate logistic regression revealed sociodemographic and health-related risk factors as predictive factors for the defined menopausal complaints.

Conclusions: Migration-related factors might be decisive for women’s experience of menopause. Improvement of population-tailored access to factual information about menopause and treatment options is an area of great potential to support women in this phase.

©2013The North American Menopause Society

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