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Factors associated with knowledge about menopause and hormone therapy in middle-aged Brazilian women

a population-based household survey

de Arruda Amaral, Isabel C.G. MSc; Baccaro, Luiz F. MD, PhD; Lui-Filho, Jeffrey F. MD, PhD; Osis, Maria J.D. PhD; Pedro, Adriana O. MD, PhD; Costa-Paiva, Lúcia MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001087
Original Articles
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Objectives: The aim of the study was to evaluate knowledge about menopause and hormone therapy (HT) among middle-aged Brazilian women and identify the factors associated with the level of knowledge.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 749 women aged 45 to 60 years, residing in the Metropolitan Region of Campinas, Brazil. The dependent variable was knowledge about menopause and HT evaluated using a numerical score based on the answers given to three questions that had several response options. The independent variables were sociodemographic characteristics, personal habits, and health conditions. Statistical analysis was carried out by Mann–Whitney, Kruskal–Wallis, and a generalized linear model.

Results: The mean age was 52.5 (±4.4) years. Most of the women were postmenopausal (68%) and 19.5% had a history of current or previous use of HT. The final score for knowledge about menopause ranged from +1 to +11, with a mean of 4.59 (±1.86) and a median of 4. Women with higher levels of schooling (coefficient = 0.64, P < 0.001); with higher socioeconomic status (coefficient = 0.47, P < 0.002); with vaginal dryness (coefficient = 0.47, P = 0.003); who consumed alcohol (coefficient = 0.61, P = 0.006); who use or had ever used any type of treatment to counteract menopausal symptoms (coefficient = 0.41, P = 0.008); with anxiety (coefficient = 0.35, P = 0.037); and with depression (coefficient = 0.31, P = 0.043) possessed greater knowledge about menopause and HT. Women with a higher number (≥3) of vaginal deliveries (coefficient = −0.61, P < 0.001) and a higher body mass index (coefficient = −0.02, P = 0.046) possessed less knowledge about menopause and HT.

Conclusions: The knowledge about menopause and HT demonstrated by the interviewees was low and possibly related to the time of exposure to qualified information.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.

Address correspondence to: Luiz F. Baccaro, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Rua Alexander Fleming, 101, Cidade Universitária Zeferino Vaz, 13083-881 Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. E-mail: baccaro@unicamp.br

Received 7 December, 2017

Revised 29 January, 2018

Accepted 29 January, 2018

Funding/support: São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)—Grant 2011/14526-9.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

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© 2018 by The North American Menopause Society.