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Menopausal transition in Southern Europe

comparative study of women in Serbia and Portugal

Dotlic, Jelena MD, PhD1,2; Pimenta, Filipa PhD3; Kovacevic, Nikolina MD2; Leal, Isabel PhD3; Maroco, Joao PhD3; Utian, Wulf MD, PhD, DSc4; Gazibara, Tatjana MD, PhD5

doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000927
Original Articles
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Editorial

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess and compare general menopausal quality of life in Serbia and Portugal.

Methods: In all, 1,503 women aged between 40 and 65 years from Belgrade, Serbia, and Lisbon, Portugal, were included in the study. A sociodemographic questionnaire and the Utian Quality of Life (UQOL) scale were used in data collection.

Results: The average age of women was 50 (SD = 5.61) years. Serbian and Portuguese women differed in all sociodemographic characteristics except for body mass index (BMI) and relationship status. There were no significant differences in UQOL total score (P = 0.629) or UQOL sexual score (P = 0.396) between Serbian and Portuguese women. However, occupational (P < 0.001) and health (P = 0.003) scores were significantly higher in the Serbian sample, whereas Portuguese women had higher emotional scores (P < 0.001). Based on the total study sample, women with an average UQOL score were more highly educated, employed, non-smokers, and physically active, and more likely to obtain medical assistance for climacteric symptoms compared with women who reported lower UQOL score. In addition to these characteristics, women with a higher UQOL score had higher annual income, no recent illnesses, and optimal BMI compared with women who reported a lower UQOL score.

Conclusions: This study showed that diverse populations of midlife women can have similar perceptions of quality of life as it encompasses broad dimensions of menopausal somatic and psychosocial symptoms, as well as habits and lifestyle. Further comparative studies using the UQOL scale are warranted to offer more information on the delicate factors influencing well-being in climacteric women worldwide.

1Clinic for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Clinical Center of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia

2Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

3William James Center for Research, ISPA-Instituto Universitario, Rua Jardim do Tabaco, Lisbon, Portugal

4Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

5Institute of Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.

Address correspondence to: Tatjana Gazibara, MD, PhD, Institute of Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Visegradska 26A, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia. E-mail: gazibara@drenik.net

Received 21 January, 2017

Revised 11 April, 2017

Accepted 11 April, 2017

Funding/support: F.P. was funded by Grant SFRH/BD/32359/2006 from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. F.P., I.L., and J.M. are affiliated with The William James Centre for Research, from ISPA—Instituto Universitário, which is funded by FCT Grant UID/PSI/04810/2013. Other co-authors (J.D., N.K., W.U., and T.G.) received no funding for this study.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

© 2017 by The North American Menopause Society.