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Dietary patterns and their association with menopausal symptoms

a cross-sectional study

Soleymani, Mahshid MS1; Siassi, Fereydoun PhD1; Qorbani, Mostafa PhD2; Khosravi, Shahla PhD3; Aslany, Zahra MS1; Abshirini, Maryam MS1; Zolfaghari, Ghazal BS1,4; Sotoudeh, Gity PhD1

doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001245
Original Articles
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Objective: Although menopause is a natural event in a woman's life, some of its symptoms can be severe enough to adversely affect her health. There is some evidence to suggest that diet has an influence on menopausal symptoms, but less attention has been paid to dietary patterns. The purpose of this study is to determine the association of dietary patterns with physical, mental, and genitourinary menopausal symptoms.

Methods: A cross-sectional study design was applied using a sample of 400 postmenopausal women who attended health centers in the south of Tehran, Iran. The menopausal symptoms were assessed by a Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) questionnaire; a 147-item, semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire was used to collect dietary information, and major dietary patterns were identified by principal component analysis. Linear regression was used to evaluate the relationship between menopausal symptoms and dietary patterns.

Results: Three major dietary patterns were identified: vegetables and fruits (VF); mayonnaise, liquid oils, sweets, and desserts (MLSD); and solid fats and snacks (SFS). It has been found that the VF dietary pattern is inversely associated with general (β = −1.37; SE = 1.08; P for trend <0.001), physical (β = −1.54; SE = 1.09; P for trend <0.001), and mental (β = −1.58; SE = 1.11; P for trend <0.001) symptoms. A stronger adherence to the MLSD dietary pattern was directly associated with general (β = 1.15; SE = 1.08; P for trend <0.001) and genitourinary symptoms (β = 1.54; SE = 1.1; P for trend <0.001). Moreover, the SFS dietary pattern was directly related to the general (β = 1.23; SE = 1.09; P for trend = 0.01), physical (β = 1.24; SE = 1.09; P for trend = 0.04), and mental (β = 1.29; SE = 1.12; P for trend < 0.001) symptoms.

Conclusion: The present study demonstrated that there is an inverse association between VF dietary pattern and menopausal symptoms. In contrast, the MLSD and SFS dietary patterns were correlated to an increased risk of these symptoms.

1Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2Non-Communicable Diseases Research Center, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran

3Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

Address correspondence to: Gity Sotoudeh, PhD, Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Hojatdost Street, Naderi Street, Keshavarz Blv., Tehran, Iran. E-mail: gsotodeh@tums.ac.ir; Fereydoun Siassi, PhD, Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Hojatdost Street, Naderi Street, Keshavarz Blv., Tehran, Iran. E-mail: siassif@sina.tums.ac.ir

Received 21 May, 2018

Revised 26 July, 2018

Accepted 26 July, 2018

Funding/support: This research has been supported by Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) (Grant No. 32419-161-02-95).

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

© 2019 by The North American Menopause Society.