The purpose of this study was to examine the specific characteristics that were directly linked to menopausal symptoms of midlife women from four major racial/ethnic groups in the United States using a decision tree analysis.
This was a secondary analysis of the data from 1,027 midlife women from 2 larger Internet-based studies. The parent studies used the Midlife Women's Symptom Index with multiple questions on background characteristics and health and menopausal status. The data were analyzed using ANOVA and decision tree analyses.
Across all the racial/ethnic groups, menopausal stage and country of birth were significantly related to the total number and total severity scores of menopausal symptoms (P < 0.001). In each racial/ethnic group, different combined characteristics of the participants were closely linked to the total number and total severity scores of menopausal symptoms (P < 0.05). For instance, in African Americans, the total severity scores of menopausal symptoms increased among those who were postmenopausal (P < 0.001), US born (P < 0.001), and with low family income (P = 0.030).
Specific risk groups by the combined characteristics need to be considered in future practice with midlife women.