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Impact of the severity of vasomotor symptoms on health status, resource use, and productivity

Whiteley, Jennifer EdD, MSc, MA1; Wagner, Jan-Samuel BS2; Bushmakin, Andrew MS1; Kopenhafer, Lewis BA2; DiBonaventura, Marco PhD2; Racketa, Jill MS1

doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e31827d38a5
Original Articles

Objective The current study characterizes health-related quality of life, work productivity, and resource use among postmenopausal women by severity of vasomotor symptoms (VMS).

Methods Participants were selected from the 2010 US National Health and Wellness Survey. Women aged 40 to 75 years who did not report a history of menstrual bleeding or spotting for 1 year were eligible for analysis (N = 3,267). Cohorts of women with no VMS (n = 1,740), mild VMS (n = 931), moderate VMS (n = 462), and severe VMS (n = 134) were compared after controlling for demographic and health characteristics. Outcome measures were assessed using linear models and included health status, work productivity within the past 7 days, and healthcare resource use within the past 6 months.

Results The mean age of women experiencing severe VMS was 57.92 years. After demographic and health characteristics had been controlled for, women experiencing severe and moderate VMS reported significantly lower mean health status scores compared with women with no symptoms (P < 0.0001). The mean number of menopause symptom–related physician visits was significantly greater among women with severe, moderate, or mild symptoms than among women with no symptoms (P < 0.0001). Among employed women experiencing VMS, women with severe and moderate symptoms had adjusted presenteeism of 24.28% and 14.3%, versus 4.33% in women with mild symptoms (P < 0.001), and activities of daily living impairment of 31.66% and 17.06%, versus 6.16% in women with mild symptoms (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions In postmenopausal women, a greater severity of VMS is significantly associated with lower levels of health status and work productivity, and greater healthcare resource use.

From 1Pfizer Inc., New York, NY; and 2Kantar Health, New York, NY.

Received May 17, 2012; revised and accepted August 29, 2012.

Funding/support: This study was conducted by Kantar Health and sponsored by Pfizer Inc.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: J.W., A.B., and J.R. were employees and stock option holders of Pfizer at the time of this study. Pfizer did not provide financial support for the development of this manuscript. This manuscript was written by the authors.

Address correspondence to: Jennifer Whiteley, EdD, MSc, MA, 235 East 42nd Street, MS 219/7/1, New York, NY 10017. E-mail:

© 2013 by The North American Menopause Society.