To assess differences in behavioral and psychological health characteristics in perimenopausal women delineated by income disparity.
A hypothesis generating secondary data analysis was conducted in 33 women, using public health insurance enrollment as a proxy for income. Sociodemographic characteristics were assessed. Study outcomes included behavioral health characteristics: current cigarette smoking, substance abuse history, current exercise, obesity (BMI ≥30); psychological health characteristics, and sleep: depressed mood (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale [CES-D]), anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 [GAD-7]), and sleep (Insomnia Severity Index [ISI]). Group comparisons were assessed via the Student t test, Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test or Chi-square test, and multivariable models.
Forty-two percent (n = 14) were designated as income disparate, and sociodemographic characteristics were similar between groups; nearly half were Black/African American. More income disparate women reported current cigarette smoking [71% (10) vs 21%(4), P = 0.004] and substance abuse history [79%(11) vs 5%(1), P < 0.0001]. Fewer income disparate women reported current exercise [57%(8) vs 89%(17), P = 0.03] and more were obese [BMI ≥30; 50%(7) vs 11%(2), P = 0.01]. Income disparate women experienced significantly higher CES-D scores [13.5 (11.75, 23.75) vs 6 (0, 9), P < 0.0001], GAD-7 scores [5.5 (2, 8.75) vs 2 (0, 4), P = 0.04], and ISI scores [11 (5.55) vs 5 (4.36), P = 0.004].
Findings from this preliminary analysis evidence inequities in behavioral, psychological, and sleep characteristics in perimenopausal women. Awareness of how the social determinants of health impact outcomes among vulnerable perimenopausal women is critical to developing equitable aging opportunities, including customized preventive health screenings and interventions that engage income disparate perimenopausal women.